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Thursday July 30, 2015

Washington News

Washington Hotline

Senate Finance Committee Passes Tax Extenders

On a bipartisan vote of 23-3 on July 21, the Senate Finance Committee passed "An Original Bill to Extend Certain Expired Tax Provisions." The tax extenders bill is retroactive to January 1, 2015 and applicable until December 31, 2016. The bill extends 54 tax provisions for a two year period.

Five of the provisions are important to nonprofit organizations and donors.

1. IRA Charitable Rollover - IRA owners over age 70½ may transfer up to $100,000 each year directly from the IRA custodian to qualified charities.

2. Conservation Easements - There are expanded charitable deductions for gifts of conservation easements.

3. Food Inventory Gifts - Apparently wholesome food inventory gifts qualify for an enhanced charitable deduction.

4. Subchapter S Corporation Gifts - Appreciated property gifts from Subchapter S corporations are facilitated by favorable basis rules.

5. Rent Payments by Charitable Subsidiaries - If they are at fair market value, rent payments from subsidiaries of charitable organizations will not cause unrelated business taxable income.

Chairman Hatch (R-UT) expressed a strong preference to pass permanent provisions. However, he acknowledged that it would be difficult "to create more permanence in our tax code system so that individuals, families, and businesses do not have to wonder whether the tax code is going to change from year to year."

Although he prefers permanent tax extenders, Hatch continued, "For the sake of making this markup less contentious and to ensure we can move more quickly to provide much needed relief to taxpayers, I have agreed to defer litigating the issue of permanence until a later time. But, make no mistake, as Chairman of this committee, my goal is to see many of these provisions made permanent."

Chairman Hatch noted that during the markup of the bill he would enforce a fairly strict "germaneness rule" that limited the number of amendments.

Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR) agreed that the bill should go forward but also preferred permanence. Wyden noted, "We need to extend these tax provisions now in order to provide greater certainty and predictability for middle class families and business alike. However as we look beyond next week, it is critical we all recognize and take action to end this stop and go approach to tax policy through extenders."

Editor's Note: The tax extenders bill is expected to be voted on by the full Senate prior to the August recess. The House leadership also prefers permanent extenders, but could very easily decide to pass this bill in September. If the House and Senate pass the bill, the President may sign it by the end of September. This potential timeframe would allow donors and charitable organizations greater opportunity to plan for 2015 IRA charitable rollover gifts.

Published July 24, 2015

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