'Blank Slate' Tax Reform May Put Charities at Risk

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A new Senate push for tax reform could put charitable deductions on the chopping block.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont, and Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, are proposing a "blank-slate" approach.
That means they're starting from scratch, without all the existing deductions and tax credits. Senators are free to recommend deductions to include in the new tax code.
The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability reports the developing plan could have a huge impact on churches.

"ECFA is deeply concerned by any tax reform proposals that would reduce or eliminate the value of the charitable contribution deduction under section 170 of the tax code, which has traditionally been regarded as the most effective policy tool at the government's disposal to encourage individual charitable giving," ECFA President Dan Busby said.

"Besides the charitable contribution deduction, some of the other important provisions affecting religious and other nonprofits include the clergy housing exclusion and exclusion for employer contributions to health insurance and other fringe benefits," he added.

For a list of special tax provisions under consideration, visit The Joint Committee on Taxation.

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