Tax Framework Prompts New Push To #ProtectGiving

September 28, 2017

A new outline for comprehensive tax reform is lean on details, but the top-line proposal released yesterday is prompting rapid action by both Congress and nonprofit advocates. As a more specific tax bill takes shape, the League is representing orchestras and partnering with the broader nonprofit community to urge Congress to protect and grow incentives for charitable giving and to ensure that both the big changes and the fine print in comprehensive tax reform support and strengthen nonprofits as they serve their communities.

  • What's in the Framework? Yesterday, six key leaders in the House, Senate, and White House jointly released the Unified Framework for Fixing the Broken Tax Code, a broad outline of individual and corporate tax changes that includes plans to double the standard deduction. This change could reduce giving by up to $13 billion per year as the percentage of those incentivized by the charitable deduction would fall from 33.3% to only 5% of taxpayers. Nonprofit advocates have been asking policy leaders to protect giving while streamlining the tax system by creating a universal charitable deduction available to all filing tax returns. The League joined in a statement by the Charitable Giving Coalition today calling for leaders in Congress and the White House to meet their stated goal to "strengthen civil society" by writing tax policies that will create more charitable giving by today's donors and cultivate a tradition of giving in future generations.

  • What's next? The process of drafting legislation is already underway by the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee, and a more detailed bill may be ready by the end of October. Today, we submitted a League statement to the Senate Finance Committee reinforcing our efforts throughout 2017 to gain support for an array of tax policies that can increase the capacity of orchestras to serve their communities. While the road to a final reform bill may be a long one, influencing the treatment of nonprofit policy in early drafts of legislation is critical to a successful final outcome.
  • What can you do? Be prepared for the long haul. Members of Congress need to keep hearing directly from you, their constituents, to be reminded that charitable giving is essential to your orchestra's capacity to serve your community. The League will keep you informed of key moments to make your voice heard. In the meantime, please see the background and talking points in our online campaign, plan ahead to set a meeting when your members of Congress return to their home districts and states, and partner with your local nonprofit colleagues to make your case. 
    Photo: Baltimore Symphony Orchestra OrchKids program joined the League in a Hill briefing on tax policy this summer.