Tax Reform

Momentum is Building

Democrats and Republicans, alike, are having conversations about the need to reform the federal income tax code. The last comprehensive reform occurred nearly 30 years ago in 1986, and stakeholders in business, government, and the nonprofit sector—including the Council—have urged lawmakers to revisit certain existing provisions and consider adding new provisions.

In early 2015, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) announced the formation of bipartisan tax reform working groups to “analyze current tax law and examine policy trade-offs and available reform options within the group’s designated topic areas.” The business working group, which addressed tax provisions that impact the business and operations of charitable organizations, was co-chaired by Senators John Thune (R-SD) and Ben Cardin (D-MD). The individual working group, which addressed giving incentives for individuals, was co-chaired by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Mike Enzi (R-WY), and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI). Working group reports are expected in July of 2015.

On February 26, 2014, former House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI-4) released his comprehensive tax reform proposal. Intended as a discussion draft for Members of Congress, the plan makes changes to nearly every aspect of the tax code and includes dozens of provisions that impact charitable organizations. The former Chairman introduced this reform package as H.R. 1 on December 10, 2014, but it has not advanced in Congress.

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