October 26, 2018
And just like that, comprehensive tax reform has come and gone. After making a handful of last-minute technical changes, the Senate voted 51-48 in the very early hours of the morning on Dec. 20 to pass tax reform. The same afternoon, the House voted 224-201 to pass the final version with the Senate's updates. President Trump signed the bill into law on Dec. 22.
Congress will undertake efforts to pass an additional bill to correct technical errors in the tax reform legislation when it reconvenes in January, but this is not expected to significantly change the substance of the tax overhaul.
Assessed in its totality, this tax reform will be more detrimental to philanthropy than beneficial.
Tax Reform in the Conference Committee
After the House and Senate passed differing versions of tax reform, the bill underwent the conference committee process to iron-out the differences between the two versions of the bill, and a final version of the bill was reported out of committee on Friday, Dec. 15.
The conferees were:
House Conferees: Kevin Brady (R-TX), Fred Upton (R-MI); Rob Bishop (R-UT); Devin Nunes (R-CA); Peter Roskam (R-IL); Diane Black (R-TN); Kristi Noem (R-SD); Don Young (R-AK); John Shimkus (R-IL); Richard Neal (D-MA); Sandy Levin (D-MI); Lloyd Doggett (D-TX); Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ); Kathy Castor (D-FL).
Senate Conferees: Orrin Hatch (R-UT); Mike Enzi (R-WY); Lisa Murkowski (R-AK); John Cornyn (R-TX); John Thune (R-SD); Rob Portman (R-OH); Tim Scott (R-SC); Pat Toomey (R-PA); Ron Wyden (D-OR); Bernie Sanders (I-VT); Patty Murray (D-WA); Maria Cantwell (D-WA); Debbie Stabenow (D-MI); Bob Menendez (D-NJ); Tom Carper (D-DE).
Tax Reform in the Senate
The Senate Finance Committee—led by Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT)—released the Chairman’s Mark of their tax reform bill on Nov. 9, 2017. The Committee began marking-up the bill on Monday, Nov. 13, and passed it out of committee on a straight, party-line vote of 14-12 without accepting any amendments from committee members (with the exception of some changes from Chairman Hatch). In the early hours of the morning on December 2, the Senate passed its version of the tax bill (S.1) on a mostly party-line vote of 51-49.
Tax Reform in the House
Republican leaders in the House—led by Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX)—introduced their bill on Nov. 2, 2017. The bill was passed out of the Ways and Means Committee on Nov. 9, 2017, sending the bill to House floor for a vote by the full chamber. On Nov. 16, the House voted to pass H.R. 1 by a largely party-line vote of 227-205.
For more information on how these tax reform proposals impact specific issues, see our webpages for:
- Charitable Deduction
- Donor Advised Funds
- Private Foundation Excise Tax
- IRA Charitable Rollover
- Nonprofit Political Activity
- Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT)
Don't forget to subscribe to the Council’s Washington Snapshot newsletter for weekly updates on tax policy developments.
Other Resources on Tax Reform
- IRS Resource: Tax Reform Provisions that Affect Retirement Plans, Tax Exempt Organizations and Governments
- Council Tax Reform Comments to Senate Finance Committee - July 2017
- Tax Reform: Corporate Tax Integration and Philanthropy - A Deeper Dive
- FAQs: Corporate Integration Tax Reform and Philanthropy
- Senate Finance Committee Tax Reform Working Groups - 2015
- Council Summary of Senate Finance Committee Tax Reform Working Group Reports - 2015
- House bill H.R. 1 – Tax Reform Act of 2014
- Council Summary of the Tax Reform Act of 2014
- Taxreform.gov – Website from the Senate Finance Committee and House Ways and Means Committee
- House Ways and Means Committee Site on Tax Reform
- Senate Finance Committee Site on Tax Reform
- House Ways and Means Committee Hearing on Tax Reform and Charitable Deduction, February 14, 2013
- Testimony of Council Chair Kevin Murphy to House Ways and Means Committee
- Testimony of Council President and CEO Vikki Spruill to House Ways and Means Committee
- Joint Committee on Taxation Report To The House Committee On Ways And Means, On Present Law And Suggestions For Reform Submitted To The Tax Reform Working Groups, May 6, 2013