Legislative Update

Here is an update on four of the top issues impacting nonprofit ministries:
 

  • Universal charitable deduction.  The current universal charitable deduction bills include H.R. 1260, introduced by Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL) and H.R. 651, introduced by Reps. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) and Chris Smith (R-NJ).  Both bills would allow non-itemizing taxpayers to fully deduct their charitable gifts.

    Efforts continue to secure bipartisan support for existing legislation, especially by adding cosponsors.
  • Repeal of parking fringes tax.  The Lessen Impediments from Taxes (LIFT) for Charities Act is the bill to repeal the parking fringes tax that has the most bipartisan support.  The House bill (H.R. 1545) now has 20 Republican and eight Democratic cosponsors.  The Senate bill (S.632) has four cosponsors in addition to lead sponsors Jim Lankford (R-OK) and Chris Coons (D-DE).
  • Donor disclosure legislation.  The California bill (AB 1712) that could have permitted the state’s attorney general to disclose confidential donor information has been scuttled for 2019.  The bill focused on donor-advised funds.  However, its enactment would have created a powerful negative precedent undermining the future confidentiality of all donor information.
  • Valuation of gifts-in-kind legislation. A troubling bill has passed the California House and has now moved to the California Senate.  The bill would undermine uniform national accounting standards and impose significant new burdens on organizations registered to solicit charitable contributions in the state.

AB-1181 is apparently motivated by the California Attorney General office’s concerns with charities overvaluing certain gift-in-kind (GIK) contributions, which can lead to a lower ratio of reported overhead expenses to donors and state charity regulators. But to accomplish that goal, the bill would make the bold move of disregarding established generally accepted accounting principles that are consistently recognized and applied across the United States.

For more information on this legislation, click here


This text is provided with the understanding that ECFA is not rendering legal, accounting, or other professional advice or service. Professional advice on specific issues should be sought from an accountant, lawyer, or other professional.

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