Capitol Hill Casts Its Eyes Toward Charities

Capitol Hill Casts Its Eyes Toward Charities

The linked article provides a rundown of activity on Capitol Hill relating to charities and those who support them – always of interest to investors, who traditionally support charity out of both altruism and the sweet savor of a tax break.

Let’s test how the wind is blowing on the hill this year.

It’s easy enough to say that you work for the public’s good, but nowadays, people want proof. The public at large and their representatives in Congress have shown a tendency to scrutinize the work of charities and NGOs in general, trying to ferret the wolves from the sheep.

In the early years of this century, Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) earned a reputation for being tough on tax-exempt organizations, when he served as Finance Committee chairman. In 2019, he’s back in the same saddle and plans to turn the same gimlet eye on the non-profit sector to make sure it’s, in his words, “living up to the purpose of [their] tax-exempt status.” Keep your eyes peeled for some piquant headlines.

Our featured author says he doesn’t expect new legislation to result, given how hard it is to get a bill, sensible or otherwise, through the divided Congress these days. Instead, watch for carefully directed letters cast on congressional stationary, directed to powerful federal agencies. Sen. Grassley recently sent such a missive to the IRS, voicing concerns over the actions of tax-exempt hospitals. Those facilities might do well to get their records in shape for an audit.

The effect of tax reform on charitable giving is generating talk on the hill, too. Our featured author says that in fact, contributions to charity have been declining since 2006, and recent economic growth has not reversed the trend. Nothing is conclusive yet, but some congressmen are already talking about legislation to increase the charitable deduction. Stay tuned.

For more information, please read:
Three Charitable Policy Trends in 2019 | Wealth Management


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