Sarah Ford | February 13, 2015

House Passes Bill to Make Charity Tax Breaks Permanent

Nonprofits cheered a successful vote in the House on Wednesday that would make several tax breaks for charitable giving permanent, but the legislation faces a steep climb to become law.

The America Gives More Act, which passed the House on a 279-137 vote, would provide tax deductions for gifts of food to food banks, land set aside for conservation, and gifts to charities made directly from individual retirement accounts. The legislation would also simplify the foundation excise tax. Currently, foundations pay either a 1-percent or 2-percent tax on investment gains depending on how much money they provided in grants. The bill would set the tax at 1 percent for all foundations.

The tax breaks for food, land donations, and gifts from retirement accounts are part of a slate of more than 50 temporary tax provisions, called “tax extenders,” that expire each year. Congress did not pass the extenders until December of last year, timing that many nonprofit leaders say nearly eliminated any incentive to use the tax preferences.

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