Council on Foundations Statement on Senate Passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

Saturday, December 2, 2017
Arlington, VA

Today, the Council on Foundations released the following statement from President and CEO Vikki Spruill:

“Today’s Senate passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act will have long term catastrophic impacts on philanthropies, charities, and the people that they serve. Coinciding with a time of year when so many Americans are focused on giving to help others in need, lawmakers have offered their version of holiday cheer: legislation that will weaken charitable giving and puts decades of work to advance the common good in peril. Every lawmaker who voted in favor of this bill will have cast a vote against our nation’s giving tradition and more importantly, the millions of Americans who are served by our country’s charities.

While it is understandable that lawmakers would want to simplify the tax code, it is absolutely unthinkable that they could only do so by disincentivizing charitable giving. Like the House bill, this Senate legislation doubles the standard deduction, a provision which estimates have said would reduce the number of Americans itemizing their tax deductions to five percent. While many generous Americans will continue to donate, evidence demonstrates that without the incentive, charitable giving will decrease by $16-$24 billion every year. It is also disappointing that the bill’s authors failed to include viable options presented, like the Universal Deduction, which would have helped to offset the blow to charitable giving.

Make no mistake: the Senate and the House have taken actions that are detrimental to the good work being done by foundations and charities across the country.  The Council will continue to work through the Conference process to push for legislation that truly enhances charitable giving and supports people in need.

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About the Council on Foundations

An active philanthropic network, the Council on Foundations (www.cof.org), founded in 1949, is a nonprofit leadership association of grantmaking foundations and corporations. It provides the opportunity, leadership, and tools needed by philanthropic organizations to expand, enhance and sustain their ability to advance the common good. With members from all foundation types and sizes, the Council empowers professionals in philanthropy to meet today’s toughest challenges and advances a culture of charitable giving in the U.S. and globally.