Uncertain tax legislation weighing on donors

Once again, charitable organizations such as the Community Foundation of Jackson County, Jackson County United Way and Child Care Network have much to be thankful for this holiday season.

So do the many donors who help them make a difference in the lives of others all across our communities.

But also once again, such organizations and many of the people who support them are again waiting for Congress to decide whether to extend the IRA charitable rollover and other tax laws that govern charitable giving.

Already the foundation has heard from one local financial adviser questioning what we’ve heard about whether the IRA charitable rollover would be extended again in time to remain in effect this year. The timing is critical as their client and other donors to the foundation and other charities prepare to make their year-end giving decisions.

The best decision for American charities and the people who support them would be for federal lawmakers to make a series of so-called extended provisions permanent. Among those under consideration are proposals that would extend the IRA charitable rollover, the enhanced deduction for contributions of food inventory, and the enhanced deduction for contributions of conservation easements.

There also is an effort to include in the tax extenders package two new provisions: Making donor-advised funds eligible to receive IRA charitable contributions and flattening the private foundation excise tax to 1 percent.

The foundation joins our partners in philanthropy at the Indiana Philanthropy Alliance and others in encouraging lawmakers to not only approve the extenders for this year but to make them permanent. There is no reason to keep donors, their advisers and the charities they support guessing each December whether the tax provisions will remain in effect.

We ask that you, too, join this effort and contact our federal lawmakers in Washington, urging them to support a permanent extension. They include, of course, U.S. 9th District Rep. Todd Young, who sits on the House Ways & Means Committee, and U.S. senators, Joe Donnelly and Dan Coats. Coats sits on the Senate Finance Committee. Lauren Beebe with Young’s office in Washington said Friday that the congressman remains committed to the extensions. We hope he and other supporters prove successful in their efforts.

If you decide to reach out to the lawmakers, be sure to tell them your name, perhaps the names of the charitable organizations you support, where you’re from and urge them to permanently extend the IRA charitable rollover and other provisions.

A permanent IRA charitable rollover would allow donors to plan their charitable gifts in advance, which should create increased charitable investment for nonprofit organizations such as the Community Foundation, our local partners in philanthropy and the communities we serve, from Crothersville to Reddington, from Medora to Freetown and from Brownstown to Seymour.

If the rollover is renewed, donors should check with their financial advisers on any changes in the law and how it might affect their own situation.

Dan Davis is president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Jackson County. For information about donating to the foundation, call 812-523-4483 or send an email to president@cfjacksoncounty.org.