24 February 2017

ACR News 2.24.17-The New IRS?

>> Federal: Washington Roundup
>> Federal: 100 Years of Giving Fly-In
>> Federal: Charitable Legislation Update
>> Federal: ACR Summit for Leaders
>> Consider This: The New IRS?
>> Top Reads200 Charity Leaders Visit Washington to Push Lawmakers to Keep Tax Write-Offs

Washington Roundup

The House and Senate were out of session this week for the President’s Day recess. House Republican leaders are still working on defending the border-adjustability proposal from their tax reform blueprint, which is taking up most of the oxygen in the tax reform room. Meanwhile, the Senate is still working on its confirmation workload while also evaluating support for the House’s tax reform plan.

On Monday, February 13, the full Senate confirmed Steve Mnuchin to be Treasury Secretary on a nearly party-line vote with just Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) crossing the aisle to join Republicans in voting “yea” on the former banker’s nomination. On February 22, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin said he expects “a combined [tax reform] plan” from Congress and the Administration by August. Mnuchin has previously said he plans to maintain the charitable deduction in tax reform but has not addressed any ways the Administration could expand giving incentives.

The Trump Administration announced Wednesday that we can expect a budget outline by the second week in March, though reports indicate it will be a “skinny” version of a more fleshed out proposal that will be released later in the year. The President’s budget proposal gives Americans a first look at his spending and tax priorities for the first year, so it could be indicative of how a charitable giving incentive will ultimately be treated by the Administration. On Tuesday, February 28, President Trump is expected to address Congress and discuss his first month and the next priorities on his agenda, and reports indicate one of the topics he will discuss is tax reform.

100 Years of Giving Fly-In 

On Thursday, February 16, ACR planned and hosted the Charitable Giving Coalition’s 100 Years of Giving Fly-In, an event for nearly 200 nonprofit leaders to meet with lawmakers on Capitol Hill and encourage them to maintain and expand the charitable giving incentive in tax reform. ACR is a member of the CGC leadership team. Approximately 130 of the attendees came from outside the beltway from 37 states for a total of 130 meetings with House and Senate offices. Attendees met with 23 Senate Finance member offices and 26 House Ways and Means member offices, making sure to reinforce to tax-writers on both sides of the aisle the need to preserve the full scope and value of the charitable deduction.

Charitable Legislation Update 

In addition to our efforts in conjunction with the Charitable Giving Coalition, we are also continuing to work on other legislation that affects the sector. The CHARITY Act is expected to be reintroduced in coming weeks by Senate Finance Committee members John Thune (R-SD) and Robert Casey (D-PA). The legislation includes a streamlined private foundation excise tax, an expansion of the IRA charitable rollover to include distributions to donor-advised funds (DAFs), and a sense of the Senate expressing the intent to maintain the full scope and value of the charitable deduction in tax reform, among other related provisions. We’re also working with colleagues to secure original cosponsors for the Private Foundation Excise Tax Simplification Act, expected to be reintroduced by Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN), which streamlines the PF excise tax to a flat one percent. We will update you as we gain cosponsors and when legislation is introduced.

ACR Summit for Leaders 
You are invited to the ninth annual Alliance for Charitable Reform Summit for Leaders!

March 21, 2017
8:15 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
Continental breakfast to be served at 7:45 a.m.
Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
400 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

The next two years will be a time of vulnerabilities as well as opportunities for the philanthropic sector. The likelihood of sweeping tax reform has risen dramatically with the election of a Republican president along with Republican control of both the House and the Senate. As part of the tax reform discussion, we’ve already seen lawmakers propose provisions that may threaten charitable giving. With many tax issues still undecided, nothing is completely on or off the table.

The ACR Summit for Leaders is part of Foundations on the Hill. Programming features leaders in philanthropy, policy experts, and congressional staff.

Registration: Click here for session descriptions and for registration information. Attendance at the ACR Summit is free of charge.

Consider This – The New IRS?

Let’s face it, we’re tax nerds. And as such, we closely read tax documents that others might skim – if they look at them at all. We read those documents so you don’t have to.

Which brings us to the outline for tax reform put out by House Republicans in June of last year. It’s 35 pages and titled, “A Better Way for Tax Reform.” Also known in Washington circles as, “The Blueprint.” We’ve highlighted some proposals from that document like the expansion of the standard deduction and how that might have a negative impact on charitable giving.

Here’s something else in that document that has not really been talked about. And it remains something of a mystery to us that we’ve been working to understand. The Blueprint says that the GOP will “rebuild the IRS into a modern and efficient 21st century administrator of the nation’s tax system.  The new IRS will have a streamlined structure aligned with the simpler and fairer tax system for families and individuals and businesses of all sizes.”

So where does that leave our sector? Where do (or don’t) we fit in this new structure?  For the time being, the answer to that is murky at best. We’re working to get answers to those questions and others about this suggested revamp of the IRS structure. In fact, we will dedicate a panel at our ACR Summit for Leaders in DC on March 21 to addressing those questions. So please join us.

In the meantime, we will be working to fill in the policy blanks on this issue, along with some others. We will keep you posted.

Top Reads

Please feel free to email us at info@acreform.com if you have any questions, stories or topics you would like us to include in our newsletter.

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