>> Federal: Washington Roundup
>> Federal: Tax Reform?
>> Federal: Universal Charitable Giving Act of 2017
>> Federal: Roadmap for Action – October
>> Consider This: Walk the Plank
>> Top Reads: Nonprofits Battle to Get Charitable Deduction Extended to All Taxpayers
Last week, the House and Senate both took important steps toward tax reform by advancing their respective budget resolutions. The eventual budget resolution is expected to include reconciliation instructions to allow for tax reform to be passed by 50 votes in the Senate, instead of the usual 60. The House passed its version on Thursday, October 5, and the Senate is expected to pass its sometime next week, after which both chambers will have to hash out their differences.
The expectation is that they’ll complete the process this month.
As you may recall, President Trump and Congressional Republicans released their tax reform framework at the end of September. The framework is the template for Republicans to use when drafting tax reform legislation.
Among its provisions, the framework would nearly double the standard deduction and would eliminate most deductions except two “sacred cows” – charitable and mortgage interest.
However, because the doubling of the standard deduction would dramatically reduce the number of taxpayers who itemize (and take the charitable deduction), studies suggest charitable giving will drop. ACR has been actively working with members of Congress on new charitable deductions for those who won’t itemize.
Although the framework didn’t address how or if the charitable deduction would be modified to offset the estimated loss of giving in tax reform, the idea isn’t lost. On Thursday, October 5, Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC) introduced the Universal Charitable Giving Act (H.R. 3988), which would implement a charitable deduction for non-itemizers that would be capped at 1/3 of the standard deduction. You can read our statement on the bill here.
Rep. Walker is chair of the Republican Study Committee, a caucus of conservative Republicans in the House, and he is co-chair of the Congressional Prayer Caucus. You can read the statement his office put out on the bill here and also see him introducing the bill on the floor of the House in the video below.
At the ACR Summit for Leaders in March, we presented a Roadmap for Action – a 12-month plan to engage with lawmakers and your community. We then hosted a webinar in April for those who may have missed the Summit.
October’s action item is invite lawmakers to your organizations while they’re in recess. That was this week for the Senate, and next week for the House. You can find all the resources you need here, which includes suggested materials to have on hand and answers to FAQs.
We also want to share in your successes! September’s action item was to attend an in-district meeting with your Senators. If you took a photo during your visit and you would like to share it with us, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. Some examples of how to share on social media can be found here.
On September 27, the House, Senate and the Administration released a nine page framework for tax reform. Following that release there was a hue and a cry from many rank-and-file Republicans about things like eliminating the state and local tax deduction, raising the lowest individual tax rate and lowering the top individual rate.
Less than three weeks after the framework was released, the President said that he planned to make changes to his tax plan.
He also took aim at Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Additionally, his former strategy advisor, Steve Bannon, announced his plans to support primary opponents for all but one of the seven Republican Senators up for reelection in 2018.
We relay this information because none of the above is going to make getting tax reform through the House and Senate any easier. And members in both chambers are going to be hesitant to “walk the plank” on tough choices if the President won’t have their backs.
We’ve got a long way to go, and it is painfully clear that it’s not going to be easy to get everyone rowing in the same direction, at least as things stand for now.
- National: Nonprofits Battle to Get Charitable Deduction Extended to All Taxpayers
- National:The GOP plan to simplify taxes could put charitable giving at risk
- National: New Charitable Deduction Bill Eyed for Tax Reform Package; Reform Permanence in Question
- National: Universal Deduction Bill Draws Measured Praise
- National: Key conservative Republican eyes bigger tax break for charity
- National: Congress Provides Additional Tax Relief for Victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria
- National: Comprehensive Tax Reform In The News: The Republican Framework Released
- Opinion: Private philanthropy takes center stage after hurricanes: Guestview
- Opinion: Opinion: Tax Reform Has Potential To Unlock Giving
- Opinion: US tax reformers should get rid of the charitable deduction
- Local: Buffalo Grove creating method for tax-free donations to arts programs
- ACR Blog: (VIDEO): WSJ Discusses “Sacred Cows” and Expanded Standard Deduction
- ACR Blog: Progressive funders fund progressive group. Also, water is wet.
Please feel free to email us at email@example.com if you have any questions, stories or topics you would like us to include in our newsletter.
Looking for ARCHIVES of this newsletter? Click here.