U.S. Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.), both members of the tax-writing Senate Finance Committee, today introduced the Charities Helping Americans Regularly Throughout the Year (CHARITY) Act, a bill that would encourage charitable giving and make it easier for foundations and other tax-exempt organizations to conduct their charitable mission. The CHARITY Act (S. 1343) builds on several significant Thune-and-Casey-supported charitable tax provisions that were signed into law in 2015, including one that makes permanent a law allowing taxpayers at least 70-and-a-half-years old to make charitable contributions directly from their IRAs. Thune introduced a similar version of the CHARITY Act in the 114th Congress.
“Each year, millions of hard-working Americans donate time, money, goods, and services to charities around the country,” said Thune. “That’s why removing unnecessary barriers that make it more difficult for these charitable organizations to fulfill their philanthropic mission is an idea with which most people should be able to agree. If Congress sent this bipartisan bill to the president, which I’m hopeful we’ll be able to do, we’d encourage an already generous nation and help charitable organizations continue serving Americans in all walks of life.”
“This legislation will make it simpler for more Americans to support worthy charitable causes,” said Casey. “Charities across the nation and in Pennsylvania are doing important work that impacts countless people. This legislation will help these organizations continue and deepen their charitable endeavors in our communities.”
The CHARITY Act would:
- Express the sense of the Senate that the promotion of charitable giving be one of the goals of comprehensive tax reform.
- Make donor-advised funds an eligible charity for purposes of the IRA rollover law that permits an IRA owner at least 70-and-a-half-years old to exclude from his or her gross income up to $100,000 per year in distributions made directly from the IRA to certain public charities.
- Simplify how foundations are required to calculate the federal excise tax imposed on investment income.
- Authorize the Treasury Department to adopt regulations that align the simplified standard mileage tax deduction rate, which applies to the use of personal vehicles for volunteer charitable services, with the mileage rate that applies for medical and moving purposes.
- Promote transparency by requiring nonprofits to file their annual returns electronically.
- Protect donor information and improve tax administration by eliminating alternative rules for substantiating charitable contributions.
- Encourage philanthropic enterprises wishing to donate profits to charity by creating a limited exception to the excess business holding tax rules.
U.S. Sens. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) are co-sponsors of the CHARITY Act.Bill text for S. 1343 can be located here and a bill summary here.