Coalition Urges Action on Charitable Tax Extenders

Over 1,000 associations and nonprofit organizations asked Congress to find a way permanently extend the charitable giving provisions of the tax code, which are set to expire on January 1. But the chance of any movement on the issue seems slim.

Last week, over 1,000 charitable and philanthropic groups sent a letter [PDF] to Congress, urging lawmakers to enact the charitable giving tax incentives in the America Gives More Act (HR 4719).

Sponsored by Independent Sector and cosigned by ASAE, the letter asks Congress to make permanent the charitable provisions within the legislation before the end of the year. The package of extenders in the bill include making permanent the IRS charitable rollover, the enhanced deduction for donating land conservation easements, and the enhanced deduction for donation food inventory. Extending the deadline to deduct charitable giving to April 15 for the previous year’s tax filing is also included in the bill.

“Unfortunately, these charitable tax provisions were allowed to expire on January 1 for the fourth time in recent years. On each of the three previous occasions, an entire package of tax extenders was reinstated retroactively at the end of the following year,” the letter states. “While this may be an adequate solution for many provisions in the extenders package, these charitable provisions are different. For each day that goes by without an incentive in place and assured, many of the gifts the incentives were intended to promote will simply not take place. The time to plan and execute the gifts will have already passed by.”

Congress is debating a way forward on tax extenders, with Senate Democrats supporting a two-year extension of nearly all of the more than 50 extenders that expired at the end of 2013, and House Republicans looking to make some of the business provisions permanent.

But with just two legislative weeks remaining in the 113th Congress, there is no end in sight for negotiations between the House and Senate on tax extenders. Senate Finance Committee member Tom Carper (D-DE) told reporters last week that it’s “not at all clear” that Congress can finish a two-year bill in the time remaining.

House Republican tax writers are focused on ensuring that as many business tax incentives as possible are made permanent. Democrats in the Senate would like to include provisions like an expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit in the final package. Tax credits for wind energy production remain among the most contentious.

If a deal is impossible, House Republicans have indicated they would favor a one-year extension. In this scenario, extenders would again be addressed in 2015, when Republicans have control of both chambers and a larger majority in the House.


Chris Vest, CAE

By Chris Vest, CAE

Chris Vest, CAE is vice president, corporate communications and public relations at ASAE. MORE

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