Starting tomorrow the House and Senate are expected to give final approval to major tax reform legislation, known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (HR 1), before sending it to President Trump who has indicated he will promptly sign the measure into law. As discussed on our December 14 update, HR 1 is the most significant re-write of the United States Tax Code in three decades and, despite a historic lobbying effort by the nonprofit community, the legislation will significantly impair tax incentives for charitable giving and make a number of other changes that will greatly affect the tax-exempt sector.
Lawmakers have, by and large, abandoned a hot and humid Washington, DC for their annual summer recess after roughly seven months of work that failed to produce a single major piece of legislation for President Trump to sign into law. By almost any objective measure, the President and Republican-controlled Congress have been stuck in a tailspin of unproductivity and have not come close to meeting the expectations many had after the November elections handed control of the White House and both Congressional chambers to one party. To make matters worse, when Congress reconvenes shortly after Labor Day, Republican leaders are bracing for a potential firestorm over the debt ceiling and government funding, two issues that must be addressed quickly in order to avoid a government default or shutdown.
With the holidays right around the corner, most lawmakers have left Washington for the year. Congress is now in recess, save some brief pro forma sessions meant to thwart any attempts at recess appointments, until the 115th Congress officially convenes on Tuesday, January 3, 2017. Lets take a brief look at how 2016 ended and what we might expect from Congress in 2017.
On Tuesday November 15th CGP’s contact in Washington, Perry Wasserman, provided a post-election update on 2017 tax issues and the “lame duck” session. Below, Perry answers CGP member's questions from the webinar.
Congress is presently in recess until after the November election, at which point lawmakers will return to DC for a lame-duck session that should pick-up steam in the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. During these waning days of the 114th Congressional session, CGP is monitoring a number of bills that would directly affect charitable giving incentives. These bills include:
Key federal lawmakers are continuing to focus their attention on college and university endowments, particularly those endowments exceeding $1 billion in value. Last month, for example, the Ways & Means Oversight Subcommittee held a hearing which examined rising college costs and how some colleges and universities are using their endowments to fulfill their charitable missions.