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Public Policy Update - April 2022


Each month, Philanthropy Southeast provides members with monthly updates on the latest public policy developments in Washington and state capitols around the region, analyzing their possible impact on the charitable sector. If you would like to see an issue featured in a future Public Policy Update, contact Jaci Bertrand, Philanthropy Southeast's vice president of member engagement, at jaci@philanthropysoutheast.org.

 

Biden Budget Proposes Changes to Rules Governing Private Foundation Use of DAFs

Late last month, the White House released its budget proposal, which lays out President Biden’s spending priorities for fiscal 2023. The budget proposal was also accompanied by the “Greenbook” from the U.S. Treasury Department, which details proposals related to taxes and other federal revenue.

One proposed change may be of interest to private foundations: a provision that would disallow private foundations from counting distributions to donor-advised funds (DAFs) toward their 5 percent minimum payout requirement unless funds are distributed from the DAF by the end of the following year.

The proposal arrives five years after the Treasury Department put out an official notice of its intent to regulate in this space, so this proposal sheds light on how the administration may be approaching that notice.

Similar to last year, this proposal does not include a cap on itemized deductions, and therefore the charitable deduction. However, there was also no inclusion of a non-itemizer charitable deduction, also known as a universal charitable deduction, that was enacted on a temporary basis in 2020 and expired at the end of 2021, as requested by several charitable organizations ahead of the budget release.

The White House budget proposal acts as a “wish list” for the administration and provides a basis for congressional negotiations, so it is possible that some or none of these proposals wind up being enacted. As the budgeting process continues, we will keep you updated on any provisions relevant to philanthropy’s work.

 

Ask Your Lawmakers to Support These Bills to Strengthen Charitable Giving

At last week’s Foundations on the Hill, Philanthropy Southeast members met with Capitol Hill policymakers to build relationships, highlight philanthropy’s importance and critical work, and advocate for policies that strengthen philanthropy’s ability to build a more prosperous and equitable South.

One of those policies, the universal charitable deduction, is included in legislation that has bipartisan support in both the House and Senate: the Universal Giving Pandemic Response and Recovery Act (S. 618, H.R. 1704).

The universal charitable deduction allows all tax filers, including those who do not itemize their return, to receive a tax benefit from their charitable contributions. A temporary universal charitable deduction was put into place early in the pandemic, but it expired at the end of 2021.

The Universal Giving Pandemic Response and Recovery Act would allow taxpayers to deduct charitable contributions up to one-third of the standard deduction, so about $4,000 for individuals and about $8,000 for couples filing jointly. It would also renew the availability of the deduction through the 2022 tax year and make gifts to donor-advised funds eligible for the universal charitable deduction.

You can learn more about the legislation from the Charitable Giving Coalition.

Another piece of legislation supported by Philanthropy Southeast, the Securing a Strong Retirement Act (H.R. 2954) passed the House on March 29 and now awaits action in the Senate. This bill would allow seniors to make a one-time IRA rollover up to $50,000 to charities through a life-income plan, such as a charitable gift annuity. It would also index for inflation the IRA Charitable Rollover’s annual cap – an important step as this figure hasn’t been increased since 2006.

Now is a good time to reach out to lawmakers about these proposals, which were discussed during a recent Senate Finance Committee hearing on charitable giving.

To find contact information for your representatives in Washington, use the lookup tool on the Philanthropy Southeast website. Our staff is also ready to help you with setting up meetings, talking points and messaging!

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Mission: Philanthropy Southeast strengthens Southern philanthropy, welcoming our members to listen, learn and collaborate on ideas and actions to help build an equitable, prosperous South.