November 13, 2017: With the House and Senate moving ahead on tax reform legislation this week, we have posted a summary of provisions of greatest interest to art museums and to charities in general. Overall, we believe the bills would depress charitable giving unless they establish a charitable deduction available to itemizers and non-itemizers alike, which so far has not happened. Sens. Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) have announced plans to offer an amendment for a universal charitable deduction during Finance Committee consideration of the bill. Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC) introduced similar legislation as well.
On the positive side, the bills are notable for not including harmful provisions on noncash gifts and on corporate sponsorships that had been in an earlier House version. We will try to keep you posted and let you know if any specific action is needed. Meanwhile please do not hesitate to be in touch if you have questions.
As Congress discusses reforming the tax code, nonprofits of every variety worry that it could reduce or cap itemized deductions, including the deduction for charitable giving. With most museums depending on giving for a quarter, a third, or even more of their annual budgets, AAMD is actively involved in both non-profit-sector-wide and arts-specific coalitions to protect the deduction in general, avert any museum-specific problem such as restricting deductibility for gifts of art, and oppose any attempt to establish categories of charities such that gifts to museums would be less favored than gifts to other organizations.
Recent testimony on charitable giving, tax law, and related subjects is available in the side bar to the right.
For more information, contact Andy Finch in AAMD’s Washington office.