Breaking News from Independent Sector, December 18, 2015
Advocacy Victory: Tax Incentives for Charitable Giving Made Permanent
“The United States Congress has finally made permanent three tax incentives for charitable giving!
These incentives strengthen the charitable community’s ability to improve American lives and our communities, and ends the sector’s nearly 10-year long struggle to make these incentives a permanent part of the tax code.
The incentives include the IRA charitable rollover and enhanced deductions for the donation of food inventory and land conservation easements. After years of renewal and expiration, including the most recent expiration on January 1, 2015, the permanent extension of these three charitable giving incentives is now headed to the president’s desk for his signature.
In addition to these critical incentives, Congress included important provisions to make the child tax credit and the earned income tax credit permanent.
This tax deal, known as the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act of 2015, shows true leadership in understanding the value of the charitable community and the role it plays in American society. This law ends the uncertainty caused by the repeated expiration and subsequent reinstatement of these three charitable giving incentives.
And these giving incentives do make a difference. In fact, during the first two years the IRA charitable rollover was available, it prompted more than $140 million in gifts, assisting social service providers, religious organizations, cultural institutions and schools, and numerous other nonprofit organizations. Similarly, according to IS member Feeding America this legislation would significantly increase food bank access to the 70 billion pounds of nutritious food wasted each year, particularly the 6 billion pounds of produce that do not make it to market. Finally, a survey by the IS member Land Trust Alliance showed that the land conservation incentive helped 1,700 land trusts increase the pace of conservation by a third – to over a million acres a year.
President Barack Obama is expected to sign the bill into law, with the administration having said earlier this week that, “In addition to making permanent vital improvements to tax credits for working- and middle-class families, this legislation also would bring certainty to small businesses, companies investing in U.S. innovation, and charities.”
Independent Sector has been part of a coalition of nonprofit organizations from across the country that has worked tirelessly to educate lawmakers about the importance of these tax incentives. We wish to thank our member organizations and the individuals who have called, emailed, and met with their Members of Congress and their staffs to help us secure this historic victory.
It is important to also note that the measure heading to the president’s desk does not include two other IS priorities – expanding the IRA charitable rollover to increase its impact on our communities, and simplifying the excise tax on private foundation investment income. We will, with our partners, continue to advocate for these policy changes.”