America Gives More Act

Publication date: 
August, 2014

"A number of critical giving incentives that are often included as part of the annual "tax extenders" package expired for the fourth time in recent years at the start of 2014, but were reinstated for the 2014 tax year on December 19, 2014. The package of extenders expired again on January 1, 2015. The legislative pieces within the America Gives More Act package will help to promote and resource the crucial work of charitable nonprofits at a time when demand for nonprofit services continues to rise and outpace donations. These incentives have proven their effectiveness, yet Congress has allowed them to lapse, creating donor uncertainty" -- Independent Sector

The Connecticut Council for Philanthropy (CCP) joins The Forum of Regional Associations of Grantmakers, the National Council of Nonprofits, the Council on Foundations, Independent Sector, Alliance for Charitable Reform, and a number of our colleague regional associations in supporting this legislation. CCP has sent letters to Senator Blumenthal and Senator Murphy and has signed onto national messaging asking elected leaders to support this legislation - See below >>


IRA Charitable Rollover
H.R. 4719 would make the IRA charitable rollover permanent law, removing the uncertainty of this tax incentive for charitable giving requiring new legislation every year or two. Under the Rollover provision, individuals age 70½ and older can donate up to $100,000 to charitable organizations directly from their Individual Retirement Account without having to treat the distribution as taxable income.  In order to qualify, contributions must go directly to a public charity and be made from traditional IRAs or Roth IRAs. Donors may receive no goods or services in return for their contributions and must obtain written documentation of their contribution from each recipient charity.

Private Foundation Excise Tax
H.R. 4719 would simplify the private foundation excise tax on net investment income to a single rate of 1 percent. The current two rate system is viewed by many foundations as an administrative burden and disincentive for increased giving. Under current law, private foundations are required to pay a 2 percent excise tax on investment income. The excise tax rate is reduced to one percent in any year in which the foundation's distributions for charitable purposes exceeds the average level of the foundation's charitable distributions over the preceding five tax years. Foundations spend money on accountants to comply rather than communities. Additionally, the perverse result of this current system is that foundations are penalized for giving away large sums of money when they want to respond to natural disasters or communities in crisis.

Charitable Deduction Deadline
H.R. 4719 would give taxpayers until April 15 to make charitable contributions eligible for the charitable deduction, instead of requiring those gifts to be made by the end of the calendar year.

Food Inventory Donations
H.R. 4719 would make permanent and enhance the benefit of a current provision that allows a tax deduction for charitable contributions of food inventory.

Land Conservation Easements
H.R. 4719 would make permanent and enhance the benefit of a current provision that allows a tax deduction for contributing land conservation easements.


Contact your representatives, and activate your grantees and board members to push to have these provisions included and passed within and extenders bill.


Senator Richard Blumenthal
724 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC  20510
PHONE: 860-258-6940; 203-330-0598; 202-224-2823
TWITTER: @SenBlumenthal

Senator Chris Murphy
303 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC  20510
PHONE: 860-549-8463; 202-224-4041
TWITTER: @ChrisMurphyCT


Representative Elizabeth Esty
509 Cannon House Office Building, Washington, DC  20515
PHONE: 860-223-8412; 202-225-4476

Representative Joe Courtney
2348 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC  20515
PHONE: 860-886-0139; 202-225-2076
TWITTER: @RepJoeCourtney

Representative Rosa DeLauro
2413 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC  20515
PHONE: 203-562-3718; 202-225-3661
TWITTER: @Rosa_DeLauro

Representative Jim Himes
119 Canon House Office Building, Washington, DC  20515
PHONE: 866-453-0028; 202-225-5541
TWITTER: @jahimes

Representative Jon Larson
1501 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, DC  20515
PHONE: 860-278-8888; 202-225-2265
TWITTER: @RepJohnLarson

TALKING POINTS for Calls, Emails or Letters

  • These vital giving incentives will help increase the resources available to charitable organizations that are working hard to help people in need throughout our state.
  • Simplifying the private foundation excise tax to a single rate, for example, will lift an administrative burden that creates a perverse incentive for private foundations to give less, not more, in times of need. When foundations want to increase their giving for unanticipated grants, such as for disaster relief, they could be penalized with a higher tax burden. Simplifying this complex tax will free up foundations to invest less resources in tax compliance and more in communities in our state.
  • The IRA charitable rollover, for example, encourages individuals to donate retirement account assets directly to a public charity without incurring a tax liability on the donation. Rollover donations help countless public charities to fulfill their charitable purposes. Our community foundations manage these rollover gifts and invest them in projects you see every day-from the new center at the local hospital or the new college scholarship program to the preservation of a historic community landmark and community development centers. We know firsthand that the IRA charitable rollover makes a difference in growing philanthropy in our state.
  • The IRA charitable rollover, along with the enhanced deductions for food contributions and conservation easement donations, have been passed, expired and extended several times in the past decade. The practice of extending these provisions at the eleventh hour-or later-chills these charitable activities. With certainty, donors can plan in advance and contributions will increase.
  • We also know from our work with donors that extending the deadline for claiming charitable donations on the previous year's tax filing through April 15 will help grow charitable giving in our state. It would provide a natural time for people to make financial decisions in a comprehensive way.

This position is that of the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy and does not necessarily represent the individual views of Council members, trustees and staff of member organizations.