Congress passed a bill last week that extends the charitable deduction deadline for 2014 returns to April 15, 2015 for those donating to organizations supporting the families of two New York police officers killed in the line of duty in December. The bill, H.R. 1527, the Slain Officer Family Support Act of 2015, is sponsored by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY).
In the opening session of the 2015 ACR Summit for Leaders, we had a bit of fun with messaging around the charitable deduction while conveying the critical importance of communicating to Congress that this part of our tax code must be protected. In this session four speakers delivered four different messages about the charitable deduction and audience members voted for the most persuasive message. The presenters and moderator were all members of the Charitable Giving Coalition, which has provided a unique and unified voice on Capitol Hill on issues affecting the charitable deduction since 2009.
The House of Representatives passed today a package of four charity-related bills, H.R. 644, that includes legislation sponsored by Representatives Erik Paulsen (R-MN) and Danny Davis (D-IL) to streamline the private foundation excise tax to one percent – a provision the Alliance for Charitable Reform (ACR) has promoted for several years. H.R. 644 also makes permanent the IRA charitable rollover, the deduction for gifts of food inventory, and the deduction for conservation easements.
On Wednesday, the House Ways and Means Committee marked up and approved a package of bills making permanent several expired tax provisions, including the IRA charitable rollover, the deduction for gifts of food inventory, and the deduction for conservation easements. The committee also approved legislation sponsored by Representatives Erik Paulsen (R-MN) and Danny Davis (D-IL) that would streamline the private foundation excise tax to one percent – a provision ACR has promoted for several years. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) indicated last week that the House could vote on all of these bills the week of February 9, but a final decision will not be made until next week. We are very pleased and will update you as the bill moves forward on the House floor.
Thousands of volunteers and organizations will participate in the third annual #GivingTuesday today in an effort to further support the nonprofit sector and charitable organizations. According to the organization’s website, #GivingTuesday is a movement to designate a national day of giving on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
A lot happened as a result of Tuesday’s elections and we are here to help you sort through it all. Below is a brief analysis of the election results and a glimpse at what we can expect in the makeup of congressional leadership and the tax writing committees.
A couple of articles published and circulated Wednesday by the Chronicle of Philanthropy featured comments from staff and a member of the Alliance for Charitable Reform regarding the results of Tuesday’s elections. The Chronicle interviewed several nonprofit leaders, including ACR Executive Director Sandra Swirski, for an article analyzing the prospects of tax reform with Republicans taking control of the Senate and expanding its membership in the House of Representatives. Swirski spoke about the April 15 provision in the America Gives More Act, which would give taxpayers until April 15 to make charitable contributions applicable to the previous year. The House includes many previous small business owners who instinctively understand that business owners are in a better position to give to charity after they close their books at year end and are into the first quarter of the following year.
In the August 22 edition of the ACR newsletter, we shared a story about Puerto Rico adopting a 100 percent charitable deduction in 2011. The deduction led to a 70 percent increase in the number of individuals who made charitable donations in Puerto Rico, according to a report released by the Flamboyan Foundation.
The Flamboyan Foundation is a private, family foundation focused on improving educational outcomes for children in public schools in Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, according to its website. The Alliance for Charitable Reform recently interviewed Kristin Ehrgood, president of the Flamboyan Foundation, about the implementation of the tax deduction, the results of the Flamboyan Foundation’s study, and how studying donor behavior could help expand charitable giving in Puerto Rico.
Members of the Constitutional Convention officially adopted the Constitution as our nation’s supreme law on this day in 1787. As such, September 17 has officially been designated as a day of observance to commemorate this pivotal moment in American history.
The Constitution has endured for nearly 230 years and preserves the rights the citizens of our country hold dear. They are the very rights that have helped establish a vibrant and generous tradition of American philanthropy. In the Fall 2013 issue of Philanthropy magazine, Adam Meyerson, president of The Philanthropy Roundtable, wrote about the Constitutionally-guaranteed freedom of association and the critical role of anonymous giving in a thriving civil society. To commemorate Constitution Day, we re-publish Meyerson’s letter as a reminder of the importance of philanthropic freedom.