NEW BOOK ON TRANSPARENCY IN PHILANTHROPY
The Philanthropy Roundtable has published a new book by noted legal scholar John Tyler of the E. M. Kauffman Foundation, titled Transparency in Philanthropy: An Analysis of Accountability, Fallacy, and Volunteerism addressing recent calls for more transparency in private philanthropy and how philanthropic organizations can respond.
Urges Congress to Leave Charitable Deduction Intact
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Reducing the value of the charitable tax deduction will hurt America’s communities and millions of people who rely on generous donors, the Charitable Giving Coalition told congressional leaders. As federal lawmakers deliberate comprehensive tax reform, their actions could unravel the positive impact of the 100-year-old tax incentive that encourages giving.
The Coalition responded to a report by the Joint Committee of Taxation outlining options for tax reform in a letter to Rep. David Camp (R-Mich.), chair of the House Ways and Means Committee and Rep, Sandy Levin (D-Mich.), the committee’s ranking member. The Coalition is unified in an effort to make sure lawmakers clearly understand that giving will decline significantly and communities will suffer if they tamper with the charitable deduction.
Earle I. Mack recently appeared on the South Florida Business Report (SFBR) to discuss what might happen should tax reform come at the cost of the charitable deduction. David Weir, SFBR host, sat down with Mack to gauge just what a change in the code could really mean. In Mack’s words, changing the charitable deduction would result in an “economic disaster.” He expressed that now is definitely not the time to de-incentivize charitable giving.
Mack is a philanthropist and businessman who currently resides in Florida. He is a former U.S. Ambassador to Finland and former chairman and CEO of the New York State Council of the Arts. Mack is deeply involved in philanthropic causes and has made countless contributions over the years, specifically to the arts and Drexel University.
WASHINGTON, D.C.— The Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) released a report this week addressing the findings of 11 House Ways and Means Committee tax reform working groups, including the Charitable/Exempt Organizations working group. In addition to the working group findings, the 568-page report also provides a summary of various suggestions made by lawmakers, businesses and individuals during a public comment period. The Alliance for Charitable Reform (ACR) submitted a letter for the public record focusing on issues to expand charitable giving including preserving the charitable deduction, streamlining the Private Foundation (PF) excise tax, and modifying the Pease limitation on the charitable deduction.
APRIL 25—The following letter was included on page 20 in today’s print version of Politico.
An Open Letter from Economists on the Charitable Deduction
As Congress and the Administration deliberate fundamental tax reform, a variety of voices will fairly claim their tax situation is unique, deserving of special treatment. However, only the charitable deduction can make this case without reservation or equivocation. It truly is unique in purpose and consequence, and should be retained in any income tax reform.
Focuses on Charitable Deduction, PF Excise Tax and Pease Limitation
WASHINGTON, D.C.— The Alliance for Charitable Reform (ACR) submitted a letter for public record this week to the House Ways and Means Charitable/Exempt Organizations Working Group, focusing on issues important to the philanthropic community including the charitable deduction, the Private Foundation (PF) excise tax, and the Pease limitation on itemized deductions for certain taxpayers.
The Charitable/Exempt Organizations Working Group is part of the Ways & Means Committee’s process to move forward on tax reform. Preserving the charitable deduction has been a key focus of the charitable community as the deduction has been widely considered as a source of revenue for government spending or to pay down the deficit. ACR, along with the Charitable Giving Coalition, has been very vocal in stressing to lawmakers that the charitable deduction is different, the benefit is to the recipient of charity, and that it must be protected.
Reproduced with permission from Daily Tax Report, 73 DTR G-6 (Apr. 16, 2013). Copyright 2013 by The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. (800-372-1033)
APRIL 16 - The charitable deduction will be a target when tax reform negotiations get under way on Capitol Hill, and it does not matter which political party prevails, one of several pundits at an April 15 Urban Institute forum said.
“The kinds of public programs that do good things for worthy people are under very severe assault, and not just under the Ryan budget, but at the hands of President Obama’s budget as well,” said William Galston, senior Brookings Institution fellow and a former Clinton administration official.
APRIL 11 - Representatives of the charitable community are disappointed that a proposal to reduce the value of the deduction for charitable contributions to 28 percent for higher-income taxpayers, which has appeared in every budget President Obama has proposed, resurfaced in the latest budget blueprint released April 10.
Last winter, charities were relieved that a percentage or dollar cap on the deduction, which they believe would cause charitable giving to decline, was not part of the fiscal cliff deal. (Prior coverage.) They also were pleased by reports that the Obama administration, which in prior years has proposed a cap on itemized deductions to pay for deficit reduction and healthcare reform, was willing to consider an exception for charities. (Prior coverage.)
Cap on Charitable Deduction Will Harm Charity Now More than Ever
WASHINGTON, D.C.— The Alliance for Charitable Reform (ACR) released the following statement upon release of President Obama’s FY2014 Budget:
“Each year – and sometimes more than once – the President has proposed cutting the charitable deduction, despite resounding opposition from the American public and Congress,” said Sandra Swirski, executive director of ACR. “This year, the cut is even deeper. With the January 1st tax hike, the gap between tax rates and the charitable deduction rate is wider than ever and that will translate into less giving. Not only is this harmful to giving, which will cost charities across the country billions of dollars, but it is a dangerous precedent for the federal government to set.”