North­eastern Uni­ver­sity pro­fessor Gary Young has been selected by the United States Sec­re­tary of the Trea­sury to serve a two-​​year term on the Internal Rev­enue Service’s Advi­sory Com­mittee on Tax Exempt and Gov­ern­ment Entities.

Mem­bers of the com­mittee advise the IRS on oper­a­tional policy and pro­ce­dural improve­ments on sev­eral fronts, including employee retire­ment plans; tax-​​exempt bonds; tax-​​exempt orga­ni­za­tions, including hos­pi­tals, churches and uni­ver­si­ties and col­leges; and fed­eral, state, local and Indian tribal governments.

Having the oppor­tu­nity to have a front-​​row seat to see how a large and com­plex fed­eral agency func­tions at the senior level is some­thing that I very much value and will use to inform both my teaching and research,” Young said. “I am inter­ested in gaining a broader per­spec­tive of tax-​​exemption issues across a wide range of orga­ni­za­tions,” he added.

Young was intro­duced as one of the committee’s seven new mem­bers as part of a three-​​day meeting this week in Wash­ington, D.C., during which cur­rent pan­elists sub­mitted their latest round of rec­om­men­da­tions to senior IRS exec­u­tives. He was required to undergo an FBI back­ground inves­ti­ga­tion prior to assuming his new role.

Young, whose exper­tise lies in health law and health care man­age­ment, said his role on the advi­sory com­mittee might include making rec­om­men­da­tions on tax-​​exempt poli­cies for hos­pi­tals and health care orga­ni­za­tions, adding that his appoint­ment stemmed in part from IRS exec­u­tives’ famil­iarity with his legal and empir­ical research on the topic.

He is the director of Northeastern’s Center for Health Policy and Health­care Research and a pro­fessor of strategic man­age­ment and health care sys­tems with a joint fac­ulty appoint­ment in the Col­lege of Busi­ness Admin­is­tra­tion and Bouvé Col­lege of Health Sciences.

The Trea­sury Depart­ment and IRS viewed me as someone who would be an appro­priate person on the panel given the IRS’ new respon­si­bil­i­ties under the health care reform law,” Young said, noting that he is cur­rently the only aca­d­emic on the advi­sory com­mittee. Most of the other mem­bers tend to be senior part­ners of high-​​profile law, accounting or con­sulting firms.

Young, who has also worked as an attorney for the U.S. gov­ern­ment, said Pres­i­dent Obama’s sig­na­ture health care leg­is­la­tion places a variety of new respon­si­bil­i­ties on the IRS, including a require­ment that tax-​​exempt hos­pi­tals con­duct com­mu­nity need assess­ments and develop plans for addressing those needs.

Tax exemp­tion with respect to hos­pi­tals and uni­ver­si­ties has become a par­tic­u­larly con­tentious issue in the media, he said. “Some believe that there should be a closer exam­i­na­tion of the appro­pri­ate­ness of tax exemp­tion for these orga­ni­za­tions, which are often billion-​​dollar enter­prises,” Young explained.  “I look for­ward to hearing how such issues are viewed by other mem­bers of the advi­sory committee.”