Noland Mackenzie Canter, III

Founding Partner (Retired)

Canter is a member of the bars of the United States Supreme Court, United States Tax Court, United States Court of Federal Claims, United States Courts of Appeals for the District of Columbia and Fourth Circuit and various federal district courts.


  • J.D., University of Virginia Law School
  • M.A., George Washington University
  • M. Div., Yale University
  • B.A., History, Randolph-Macon College

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
  • Missouri
  • Virginia


  • Tax-Exempt Organizations
  • Charitable Contributions and Planned Giving
  • Federal Lobbying Laws Applicable to Tax-Exempt Organizations
  • Political Activities of Tax-Exempt Organizations
  • Non-Profit Organization Governance


Canter was one of the founders of Copilevitz & Canter, LLC. He is based in the Washington, D.C. office.

Canter has more than 35 years of experience in advising tax-exempt organizations. He serves as legal counsel to a number of nationally prominent Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 501(c)(3) organizations. His clients also include organizations which are tax-exempt under other sections of the IRC, including social welfare organization (501(c)(4)), labor organizations (501(c)(5)), trade associations and professional societies (501(c)(6)) and veterans organizations (501(c)(19)).

Canter provides advice on corporate law and federal tax issues unique to tax-exempt organizations including issues related to IRS Form 990 (annual report of tax-exempt organization); tax on unrelated business taxable income (IRC sections 511-514); intellectual property licenses designed to produce tax-exempt royalties within the meaning of IRC section 512; “qualified corporate sponsorships,” as defined in IRC section 513(i); cause-related marketing; issues which may implicate the potential for “private inurement,” “private benefit” and “excess benefit transactions” within the meaning of IRC section 4958; lobbying limits and lobbying issues from the standpoints of the IRC and federal Lobbying Disclosure Act; permissible formats for relationships with commercial entities and organizations that are tax-exempt in different sub-sections of the IRC; and executive compensation planning for tax-exempt organizations.

He provides advice on obtaining recognition of federal tax-exempt status and maintaining tax-exempt status. He has represented many tax-exempt organizations in IRS audits and in administrative appeals of adverse audit findings as well as in the United States Tax Court.

Canter prepares and advises on governance policies for tax-exempt organizations including conflict of interest policies, executive compensation policies, records retention policies and “whistleblower” protection policies.

Canter provides advice to IRC section 501(c)(3) clients including charities, religious organizations, churches and educational organizations on federal tax laws governing charitable contributions. This advice includes transfer planning for major capital gifts of illiquid assets such as real estate and on “planned gifts" through vehicles such as charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts, charitable gift annuities and bargain sales. Canter provides advice on federal tax law requirements related to “quid pro quo” disclosure rules as well as documentation and substantiation rules.

Canter provides advice on restricted gifts and “endowments” within the meaning of the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act. He also provides advice on “donor advised” funds and federal tax laws applicable to DAFs.