WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Tim Delaney, President & CEO of the National Council of Nonprofits, the nation’s largest network of charitable nonprofits, issued the following statement in response to the tax reform outline released by the White House:
“The notion of simplifying Americans’ income taxes sounds good in concept, but it would be a shame if, in the zeal to simplify taxes, Congress creates a crisis in our communities. Pronouncements of keeping the existing tax deduction for charitable giving create the impression that the status quo would remain, but proposals to double the standard deduction would effectively eliminate the tax incentives for millions of individuals and couples to give to support the work of charitable nonprofits in cities, towns, and rural areas across the country. The result would be that the hundreds of millions of Americans who rely on charitable nonprofits that provide life necessities, nurture minds and souls, and engage in community problem-solving would suffer.
“There can be no doubt: tax policies drive results. When 30 percent of individual online giving takes place in December and 38 percent of that total takes place in the last three days of the year, it’s obvious that the charitable giving incentive in the current tax code has a powerful influence to motivate financial support in communities. And we’ve seen at the state level what happens when incentives to give are removed. In just one state in just one year, more than $60 million in charitable contributions were lost when the state capped itemized deductions. Doubling the standard deduction would have a similar effect as millions more people would no longer receive a tax benefit for their charitable contributions.
“As Members of Congress take up the tax reform conversation, we strongly urge Representatives and Senators to protect the communities they serve by making sure that overall charitable giving does not fall as a result of tax reform. If the standard deduction is to increase significantly, then a non-itemizer, or “universal,” charitable deduction open to all Americans and not just the wealthy should be implemented to continue to encourage Americans to give generously to the missions and work they support.
“An additional issue not specifically mentioned in the White House’s new tax outline, but one that is vitally important to the charitable and philanthropic communities, is preservation of the protection contained in current tax law that ensures nonprofit nonpartisanship (also known as the Johnson Amendment). It is critical that congressional leaders heed the call of the more than 4,500 nonprofit organizations, including religious institutions and foundations, from across the country to retain the law that ‘shields the entire 501(c)(3) community against the rancor of partisan politics so the charitable community can be a safe haven where individuals of all beliefs come together to solve community problems free from partisan divisions.’
“Tax reform is long overdue and simplification is an admirable goal, but only when the parts are fair and lead to a greater whole. Don’t make changes that will undermine incentives to support the work of charitable nonprofits. Nonprofits and the communities we serve rely on those incentives to do our vital work. And all Americans rely on charitable nonprofits to enhance their lives, every day.”
About the National Council of Nonprofits
The National Council of Nonprofits (Council of Nonprofits) is a trusted resource and proven advocate for America’s charitable nonprofits. Connecting the policy dots across all levels and branches of governments, the Council of Nonprofits keeps nonprofits informed and empowered to create a positive public policy environment that best supports nonprofits in advancing their missions. Working with and through the nation’s largest network of nonprofits – with 25,0000-plus organizational members - we identify emerging trends, share proven practices, and promote solutions that benefit charitable nonprofits and the communities they serve. Learn more at www.councilofnonprofits.org.