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>> Top Reads: Congressional Leaders Expect Funding Deal to be Unveiled Monday
- Current law is working. Neither charities nor donors are seeking change.
- The proposed change increases the administrative burden on charities that will continue to acknowledge gifts of all sizes from donors as a function of good stewardship while additionally completing an unnecessary return for the government.
- The IRS is violating its own advice to taxpayers about never giving out their Social Security numbers unless “absolutely necessary.”
- Given the danger of identity theft, charities themselves are understandably reluctant to collect and store donors’ Social Security numbers, and are justifiably concerned that the suggestion of such disclosure will significantly reduce charitable donations.
- The fact that the proposed rule is voluntary at the moment provides little assurance that it will not become mandatory in the future.
ACR has partnered with the Council on Foundations and Independent Sector on a phone, email, and Twitter campaign urging federal lawmakers to permanently expand the IRA charitable rollover to include distributions to donor advised funds, simplify the private foundation excise tax to a flat one percent, and permanently renew certain charitable “extenders.” These include the IRA charitable rollover, the enhanced deduction for conservation easements, and the enhanced deduction for food donations. We’ve contacted nearly every Member of the Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees and our tweets have been viewed more than two million times, but there is still more to be done! We are continuing to work with regional and national associations to send letters of support to lawmakers. To bolster our message, we also encourage you to contact your Senators and Representatives to urge them to include these two charitable provisions in a final tax bill. Directions for taking action can be found here.
The Senate and House of Representatives continued their race against the clock this week, struggling to work through several “must-pass” bills before the end of the year. On Thursday, December 3, lawmakers passed a five-year, $305 billion highway bill that also renewed the Export-Import Bank. President Obama signed it into law on December 4, and it is the first time in nearly a decade Congress was able to pass transportation spending legislation longer than two years.
Earlier this week, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) began negotiating funding legislation, but hit several roadblocks and have still not come to an agreement. Yesterday, the Senate passed a five-day extension of current government funding to avert a shutdown at midnight tonight, when current funding expires. The House will vote on the measure later today and it is expected to pass. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) said yesterday he expects the long-term spending bill to come out Monday.
The year-end tax deal is also still in the works, which, as mentioned above, could permanently renew several expired tax provisions known as extenders. It’s expected that once lawmakers have a government funding measure ready, they’ll know whether they can pull off a permanent tax package. In case a permanent deal cannot be reached, Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) released a two-year backup plan (retroactive to 2015) on Monday evening. This bill includes the three charitable extenders mentioned above, but neither a streamlined private foundation excise tax nor IRA rollover expansion to include donor advised funds. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) has yet to release a plan and has said he is still working to finalize a long-term package. We will have more updates in a special edition newsletter next week after Congress has adjourned for the year.
- National: Congressional Leaders Expect Funding Deal to be Unveiled Monday
- National: An Actual Tax Deadline Coming
- National: Lawmakers to Push Spending Deadline to Dec. 16
- National: Senators Closing in on Major Tax Deal
- National: Finance Chairman Targets Museums
- Opinion: To Strengthen the Nonprofit World, Independent Sector and the Council on Foundations Should Merge
- Opinion: It’s Time to Tax Harvard
- Opinion: Darkness Grows: Time for a New Conversation About Philanthropy and Transparency
- Opinion: Let’s Get Rid of Charities
- Local: Arizonans Can Get Multiple Tax Breaks for Donations on Giving Tuesday
- Multimedia: House Speaker Paul Ryan Address on Legislative Priorities
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