Tax Reform Under President Trump: What’s Next for Nonprofits?

Jeffrey Byrne + Associates, Inc. is a proud member of The Giving Institute, and as such, we also belong to the Charitable Giving Coalition. Formed in 2009, the Coalition is dedicated to preserving the charitable tax deduction, which is crucial to ensuring our nation’s charities receive the funds necessary to fulfill their essential philanthropic missions.

Firm President + CEO Jeffrey Byrne served as The Giving Institute’s representative to the Charitable Giving Coalition in 2015 and remains actively involved in the Coalition’s mission to ensure that the charitable deduction and other tax provisions retain their positive impact in supporting essential community services. JB+A will continue to monitor situations that could affect charitable giving incentives and update you with developments or when calls to action are encouraged.

With days to go until the Trump administration takes office, The Charitable Giving Coalition is working hard to ensure the future of the nonprofit sector. Over the past few years, our sector has been subject to increasing scrutiny, and with talk of impending tax reform under the new administration, it is crucial that our government representatives understand the impact nonprofits have on people and communities.

What is at stake?

Charitable giving incentives, particularly the charitable deduction. Congress enacted the charitable giving deduction in 1917 and since then, no other tax provision has generated a more positive public impact. It offers a vital and unique incentive to taxpayers that, in 2015, helped generate more than $373 billion (the highest total ever recorded over the past 60 years) to support charitable causes (GivingUSA).

Consider the following:

  • Nonprofits generate $1.1 trillion every year providing human services
  • 1 in 10 Americans work for a nonprofit, providing 13.5 million jobs
  • For every $1 subject to the charitable deduction, communities see $3 in benefits

Still, some politicians have suggested lowering or even eliminating the deduction in order to reduce the federal deficit. Proponents of preserving the deduction feel very strongly that the government cannot and will not find a better way to leverage private investment in nonprofit and worthy causes.

Why now?

All new administrations bring change, but President-elect Trump’s campaign promises suggest a major overhaul to the current tax code is in the works. We know that taxpayers adjust their charitable contributions based on changes in the tax code. As the President-elect’s team considers restrictions on itemized deductions ($100,000 for individuals and $200,000 for couples/families filing jointly), it is vital that charitable giving is exempt from these restrictions. If not, the incentive to give is no longer there and the future of many nonprofits is at risk.

What can you do?

The Charitable Giving Coalition is already taking action to preserve the charitable giving deduction. You can read their letter to President-elect Trump here. As nonprofit professionals, philanthropic leaders and American citizens it is also our duty (and privilege) to interact with, educate and influence our representatives in government. There are many ways you can advocate for the philanthropic sector. If you’re interested in learning more, check out Jeffrey Byrne’s piece on Advocacy in Philanthropy from the JB+A archives.

Our sector is lucky to have a number of highly competent bodies monitoring situations like this and advocating in support of nonprofits, but it’s up to all of us to make sure they succeed. To learn more about the Charitable Giving Coalition and how you can take action to preserve the charitable giving deduction, visit http://protectgiving.org/.

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