The Ways and Means Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives has called for a special hearing on Tax Reform and Charitable Contributions on February 14, and CalNonprofits’ CEO, Jan Masaoka, has been invited to testify!
Jan will be representing California’s nonprofit community as she speaks before the Committee, addressing charitable deductions, tax fairness, and the importance of nonprofits. We’re glad to be a part of putting California’s voice into the discussion.
Click here to watch live on February 14 at 6:30am PST.
How we see the issue of charitable deductions:
Charitable deductions have been a hot topic for nonprofits in the last year. Proposals to reduce, cap and limit charitable deductions in order to increase tax revenue were part of the “fiscal cliff” budget negotiations. The nonprofit and philanthropic communities have been vocal in protecting the charitable deduction.
While the fiscal cliff deal ended up leaving the charitable deduction alone, the federal government continues to eye the charitable deduction as a possible source of budget solutions. The Joint Committee on Taxation estimated that the deduction will cost the government $246 billion between 2010 and 2014, so it’s no wonder that the topic didn’t disappear with the fiscal cliff.
At CalNonprofits, we feel the discussion is more complex than simply limiting the charitable deduction or leaving it alone. We strongly support incentivizing charitable giving through tax deductions, but we do so in the larger context of the public good, and not simply to protect the income streams of nonprofits or the tax benefits of the 30% of taxpayers who itemize.
Other options such as a establishing a “floor” for charitable deductions, or making the deduction beneficial to non-itemizers, could increase tax revenue and have little or no negative affect on charitable giving. These and other options could add a measure of fairness to the current charitable deduction system which provides greater incentives to higher earners and cuts out individuals who don’t itemize.
We believe budget solutions should balance increased revenue with equitable incentives for charitable giving. This is good for California’s nonprofits and good for the country. We’re excited to have Jan bring this message to DC on behalf of California’s nonprofit community.
You or your organization can submit written testimony on the topic to the Committee until February 28. Instructions can be found here.