NPOs Ask Biden, Congress to Restore, Extend Tax Incentives
NPOs Ask Biden, Congress to Restore, Extend Tax Incentives

A coalition of executives from 27 nonprofits sent a letter to congressional leaders and President Joe Biden asking that tax incentives which were allowed to expire at the end of 2021 be restored, and that other proposed funder benefits be passed into law. 

The signers cited increased demand due to natural disasters, as well as workforce shortages, as the basis for its request. The letter, which in addition to President Biden was addressed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Specifically, the organizations requested leaders renew the universal charitable (non-itemizer) deduction at least through the end of 2022. They also asked that the cap on the deduction, which was $300 or $600 for married couples filing a joint return, be increased. This request mirrors provisions within the Universal Giving Pandemic Response and Recovery Act (S.618/H.R.1704), which was introduced in both chambers of Congress but not passed.

The signers further requested that tax incentives specifically geared toward stimulating disaster-relief contributions which were allowed to expire on Dec. 31, 2021 be extended. One was a provision allowing filers who itemize to donate charitable deduction of up to 100% of their adjusted gross income, and the other allowed corporations to deduct charitable donations up to 25% of their taxable income.

The coalition members are also seeking retroactive restoration of the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC), which gave organizations a refundable tax credit for certain employment taxes levied equal to 50% of the qualified wages paid after March 12, 2020 and before January 1, 2021. This request reflects language within the proposed ERTC Reinstatement Act (H.R. 6161/S. 3625), which would extend the refundable payroll tax credit through 2022. The bill would also expand eligibility beyond current “gross receipts” provisions to include child care and education subsidies.

“These latter revisions to the law are sought to reflect the increased costs charitable organizations experience as they struggle to maintain or expand services to meet local needs throughout the health and economic crises,” according to the letter’s authors.

The letter detailed a wide variety of recent and ongoing natural disasters, including droughts, flooding, landslides and storms, and further noted that the country is entering the worst of hurricane and wildfire seasons.

“[C]haritable giving incentives ideally suited to help nonprofits serve through natural disasters were allowed to expire at the end of 2021,” the letter authors wrote. “Greater incentives for charitable giving are needed more than ever during the current natural disasters as nonprofits play an essential role in immediate relief and continuing recovery efforts.”

As of one day after the letter had been emailed, there had been no response from the addressees of their staff, according to National Council of Nonprofits VP of Public Policy David L. Thompson. However, the letter also went out to around 1,300 recipients within every House and Senate office as well as the tax committee staff.

“We cited a couple of bills, and the point people in those offices acknowledged the letter and said ‘this is great, we will pass the letter along,’” Thompson told The NonProfit Times.

Among the signer organizations:

Agudath Israel of America

American Alliance of Museums

American Red Cross

Americans for the Arts

Catholic Charities USA

Community Foundation Awareness Initiative

Council on Foundations Faith & Giving

Faith & Giving

Girl Scouts of the USA

Goodwill Industries International, Inc.

Habitat for Humanity

Independent Sector

Jewish Federations of North America

League of American Orchestras

Meals on Wheels America

Mental Health America

National Community Action Partnership

National Council of Nonprofits

Network of Jewish Human Service Agencies

Social Current

Team Rubicon

The Nonprofit Alliance

United Philanthropy Forum

United Way Worldwide

Volunteers of America