Thursday, December 29, 2005
Thursday, December 29, 2005
By Yochi J. Dreazen, The Wall Street Journal
WASHINGTON -- Americans, particularly at this time of year, open their wallets to all manner of good causes. But donating to Uncle Sam's foreign-aid efforts isn't very high on the list.
In September, officials at the U.S. Agency for International Development unveiled what they considered to be an inspired idea: augment the billions of taxpayer dollars already allocated for foreign aid by asking individual Americans -- especially those with strong ties to other countries -- to give money for development projects."
By Heather Murtagh
Fifteen nonprofit hospitals are being investigated by state officials to ensure profits aren’t going to bulk up the salaries of CEOs or other for-profit ventures.
Three local organizations, Kaiser Permanente, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital and Mills-Peninsula Health Services are among those being scrutinized by the California Board of Equalization because of high profit margins. If the investigation shows profits are misused, the organization would lose its nonprofit tax exemption which saves the companies millions of dollars.
The probe began in December 2004 when the board noticed a high compensation earned by some of the hospital CEOs, said Betty Yee, member of the Board of Equalization.
Yee, who represents 21 counties including San Mateo, said the inquires began before she joined the board. The board periodically looks into all nonprofit organizations but normally in alphabetical order which means it wouldn’t be looking at the records for hospitals all at once. Members wanted to see if the CEO compensation was a trend so it requested to look into all hospitals across the board during 2005. "
By Judith R. Tackett, firstname.lastname@example.org
December 29, 2005
Charitable giving by seniors could decrease significantly if the federal budget reconciliation bill passes in Congress in its current form.
More than 80 percent of Tennessee seniors who are members of the AARP donated to charities in 2003.
With a close 51-50 vote decided by Vice President Dick Cheney, the U.S. Senate last week approved the conference agreement on the budget reconciliation bill, which includes provisions that could discourage seniors from donating to charitable organizations.
Under current law, Medicaid includes a provision that penalizes seniors who have transferred assets for less than fair market value within three years of applying for long-term care coverage. That language includes charitable donations seniors made within three years from applying for Medicaid.
The goal is to deter seniors from transferring assets to become eligible for Medicaid."
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
By Peter Finn
Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, December 22, 2005; Page A21
MOSCOW, Dec. 21 -- The Russian parliament on Wednesday passed a revised version of a controversial bill governing grass-roots activity in the country. Nongovernmental organizations welcomed a few of the amendments but reiterated their concern that the measure will authorize strict government supervision and allow the shutting down of some groups."
Georgia-Pacific created a similar training program with Longview Community College to increase the skills of its younger employees in preparation of a coming wave of retirements.
State employment leaders say expanding that kind of training is in jeopardy because of a two-word phrase contained in federal legislation aimed at reforming the Workforce Investment Act.
The 'charitable choice' language inserted into the House version of the reform bill would allow faith-based organizations to use federal funding to hire only people of their faith.
Critics call that hiring discrimination.
The Senate passed its own version of the reform bill in May, but the issue is now stalled and isn't likely to get another chance at reaching a floor vote until 2007."
The Rev. Thomas Laymon describes the funding base of the Sunday Breakfast Mission as churches, corporations and a little bit from Christian foundations.
'When the tsunami hit, there was a very definite drop in donations. We saw it, we felt it at the end of December. It was very evident,' said the mission's president and chief executive officer of last year. 'There was also an impact of the hurricanes, although we're not sure how significant it will be for us until after January.'
But most worrisome of late are new government rules on charitable giving. 'Government regulations can impact for the long run,' Laymon said."
By Jeffrey H. Birnbaum
Monday, December 26, 2005; Page D01
Joel Wood is best known as a co-founder of Red Hot & Blue, the Washington area's most successful barbecue franchise. He's also the top lobbyist for the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers, an obscure but powerful trade group.
But his heart and a lot of his time are devoted to pleading on Capitol Hill for funds to eradicate Duchenne's syndrome, a deadly form of muscular dystrophy that his 8-year-old son James was diagnosed with five years ago."
More than half of gifts to nonprofits, foundations and religious groups are in November and December, a Colo. trade group says.
By Will Shanley
Denver Post Staff Writer
Colorado philanthropists big and small are gearing up for the annual year-end push to support the state's 17,000 charitable groups.
IR-2005-149, Dec. 22, 2005
WASHINGTON — Internal Revenue Service officials today reminded taxpayers that they must obtain a charity’s written acknowledgment of their vehicle donation before they claim a deduction for the donation. For deductions of more than $500, the taxpayer is required to attach the acknowledgment to the taxpayer’s return for the year of the donation.
Effective for vehicles donated to charity on or after January 1, 2005, the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 provides that, generally, a taxpayer’s deduction is limited to the gross proceeds from the sale of the vehicle by the charity. The charity must provide a written acknowledgment within 30 days after the vehicle is sold that notifies the taxpayer of the amount of the gross sales proceeds. "
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Controversial bill may restrict foreign groups and funding from flowing in
By Yonatan Pomrenze
Updated: 7:38 a.m. ET Dec. 21, 2005
MOSCOW — Most Russians look forward to the New Year’s holiday with anticipation. Fireworks, exchanging of gifts, strolling through snowy streets until dawn, and the kickoff of the nine-day winter vacation season are reason enough to do so."
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Business Journal - Central New York, The
By Dickinson, Casey J
SYRACUSE - Congress hasn't been quick to pass new laws regulating non-profit organizations, says Andrew C. Schulz, deputy general counsel for the Washington, D.C.-based Council on Foundations. Corporate scandals such as Enron and the subsequent federal reaction, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, have sparked Congress to consider similar legislation aimed at protecting the nation's non- profit entities, but it hasn't taken any action yet.
Schulz's keynote speech exploring legislative action affecting nonprofits launched the third annual 'Best Practices for Nonprofits' seminar Nov. 1 at the Holiday Inn, Syracuse/Liverpool. Schulz monitors legislative trends for the Council on Foundations and its 2,000 members - grant-making foundations and giving programs around the world.
Congress hasn't passed any major nonprofit legislation since the 1960s. The 1969 tax law, passed in response to political involvement by the Ford Foundation, was the last major change in the tax code. "
Pahala Nainggolan, Jakarta
In the draft of new tax bill, the government introduced a long-awaited policy that allows taxpayers to record their donations as deductible expenses. Donations given for national catastrophes and for community and social development will be accounted for as expenses from a tax point of view. Thus the more donations that one gives will be that much less tax paid. Currently, donations for social activities are treated as non-tax deductible expenses. It means that for each donation, on top of it, 30 percent must be added for government as a tax payment. This discourages people's charity and social solidarity."
Monday, December 19, 2005
By Anatoly Medetsky
The U.S. House of Representatives has called for the State Duma bill that would increase government control over nongovernmental organizations to be withdrawn or toned down significantly.
U.S. representatives passed a nonbinding resolution 405-15 late Thursday, prompting some of the bill's sponsors in the Duma to bristle and Russian NGOs to welcome the support."
Questions raised on consulting fees
By Jonathan M. Katz and John Solomon, Associated Press | December 18, 2005
WASHINGTON -- An AIDS charity linked to the Senate majority leader, Bill Frist, paid almost a half-million dollars in consulting fees to members of his political inner circle, according to tax returns. The returns for World of Hope Inc. show the charity raised the lion's share of its $4.4 million from only 18 sources. They gave $97,950 to $267,735 each to help fund Frist's efforts to fight AIDS.
The tax forms, filed nine months after they were first due, do not identify the 18 major donors by name."
Posted by: jenberk on Monday, December 19, 2005
Topic General Fundraising
With many Americans planning year-end contributions to their favorite charities, a new public opinion survey sends a strong message to officials of nonprofit organizations about the proper use of donations: use contributions for their intended purpose or be prepared to suffer the consequences.
The revealing new survey by Zogby International, commissioned by the plaintiffs in what may be the largest ‘donor intent’ lawsuit in U.S. history (Robertson v. Princeton University), comes at a time of heightened concern about misuse of charitable donations by nonprofit organizations. The results were hailed by William Robertson, lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, as “a sharp rebuke to nonprofit executives who care more about their donors’ contributions than their donors’ intent.”
Friday, December 16, 2005
WASHINGTON, December 16 (Itar-Tass) - Members of the US Congress have turned to the Russian government with a request to withdraw or change the draft law on the activities of non-governmental organisations (NGO) currently considered by the State Duma lower house of Russia's parliament. The congressmen adopted a corresponding resolution on Thursday. It was initiated by congressmen Henry Hyde and Tom Lantos. The resolution was backed by 405 American lawmakers and only 15 were against."
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Federal benefits first planned for Katrina victims
By Harriet Johnson Brackey
Posted December 15 2005
Max out the credit cards or break into your retirement savings? Floridians struggling to find cash to make hurricane repairs might want to keep an eye on Capitol Hill.
Moving through the halls of Congress is a generous package of hurricane tax relief measures designed for Hurricane Katrina's victims that may be extended to those who suffered from hurricanes Wilma and Rita.
These tax breaks would greatly ease the burden of snatching cash from savings."
Monday, December 12, 2005
Not expected for nearly two years
Carly Weeks, CanWest News Service; Ottawa Citizen
Published: Sunday, December 11, 2005
OTTAWA - Sick of picking up the phone to hear a canned voice urging you to expand your credit card collection? Well, don't expect relief from annoying calls anytime soon, despite a new law designed to give Canadians the chance to stop telemarketers.
Last-minute changes to the Telecommunications Act, passed just before the federal election was called, will let Canadians add their phone numbers to a national do-not-call list. Telemarketers are prohibited from calling numbers on the list, and face a hefty fine"
By Lynn Graebner
SILICON VALLEY/SAN JOSE BUSINESS JOURNAL
Updated: 7:00 p.m. ET Dec. 11, 2005
This year, the nation's nonprofit sector braced for legislation that was to institute some of the biggest changes to the way nonprofits are governed in 20 years.
But Hurricane Katrina dampened those expectations as the nation and its lawmakers gained new appreciation for the work that charities do."
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
PARIS -- The Council of Europe, the continent's leading rights watchdog, urged Russia on Tuesday to soften a bill restricting foreign funding of pro-democracy bodies and charities, saying it could breach the European Convention on Human Rights."
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Skip directly to the full story.
By KEVIN BEGOS email@example.com
Published: Dec 6, 2005
That's the essence of legislation that would prohibit politicians from accepting gifts of any value from lobbyists. Fancy dinners would be out, and so would cups of coffee.
'I think you just don't accept gifts,' said House Speaker Allan Bense, who decided to support the approach after hearing numerous proposals that bogged down in details.
The new House legislation was introduced at the start of a special session that was supposed to focus only on Medicaid and slot machines. As leaders added items to the calendar, it was the zero-gift proposal that had people talking. It also would require lobbyists to report their incomes."
Monday, December 05, 2005
Tax agency trims the increased mileage deduction that was granted after Katrina raised gas prices.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - The Internal Revenue Service is scaling back its mileage deduction, which had received an unusual late-year bump when gasoline prices soared following Hurricane Katrina.
The tax agency will allow taxpayers to deduct 44.5 cents per mile for business miles driven. That's down eight percent from the rate for the last four months of this year, but up about 10 percent from the rate in effect before Katrina.
In addition, drivers will be able to deduct 18 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes and 14 cents per mile driven in service of most charitable organizations. The new rates take effect Jan. 1."
Patricia Lopez and Margaret Zack, Star Tribune
When state revenue officials started counting up estate tax payments this year, they got a big surprise: One Minnesota estate had paid a whopping $112 million in estate tax."
By Kelly Davis
December 3, 2005
On Nov. 8, Virginia voters elected a new governor. They chose among three candidates who presented sharply contrasting views on many issues. Yet on one important issue, Virginia voters had no real choice. Sadly, all three candidates favored eliminating the state's estate tax - a costly policy choice that would benefit only the wealthiest Virginians."
IR-2005-137, Nov. 30, 2005
WASHINGTON — Treasury and the IRS issued Notice 2005-92 today, which provides guidance relating to the application of two provisions of the Katrina Emergency Tax Relief Act of 2005 (KETRA) for Hurricane Katrina victims and employer-sponsored retirement plans and IRAs.
Under one provision of KETRA, individuals who live in one of the four states affected by Hurricane Katrina and who suffered an economic loss as a result of that hurricane receive favorable tax treatment with respect to distributions from eligible retirement plans that are qualified Hurricane Katrina distributions, called 'Katrina distributions.'"
Friday, December 02, 2005
By Robert Powell, MarketWatch
Last Update: 6:42 PM ET Dec. 1, 2005
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BOSTON (MarketWatch) -- To the millions of Americans who own IRAs, 2005 may seem like most other years. But to accountants, estate attorneys and others who live, breath, eat and sleep IRAs, 2005 will go down as yet another banner year filled with new laws, court rulings, IRS Revenue Rulings and IRS Private Letter Rulings that dramatically affect America's most beloved retirement account.
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What are the biggest changes affecting the 45.5 million American households and their $3.5 trillion-plus in IRA money? Here, according to Ed Slott's just-published IRA Advisor and his stable of experts, are the top rulings of the year."
Nobody likes to talk about death, especially those whose livelihoods revolve around the life cycles of cattle and crops. But as Benjamin Franklin succinctly put it: “In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.”
“Death” and “taxes” are dirty words to a lot of people, and when the conversation turns to the so-called “death tax,” hackles get raised in a hurry. Critics of the federal estate tax say it’s immoral and un-American and hurts family farms and small businesses.
But how many Montana families have actually had to sell the farm in order to pay “death taxes?”
None, says Dr. Marsha Goetting, professor and family-economics specialist at Montana State University’s Depart-ment of Agriculture and Economics."
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Knight Ridder News
SAN DIEGO - Ethics and accountability in the nonprofit sector might seem like a slam dunk. After all, no one goes into charity work for the money, right?
But the truth is, the world of philanthropy has been plagued by fraud, self-dealing and other moral lapses in recent years, leading Congress to consider the most sweeping reform of the nonprofit sector in decades.
Last week, about 100 charity executives and board members attended a University of San Diego symposium examining how stricter oversight might affect the work they do."
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
A diverse coalition of charities filed an amicus brief on Nov. 14 in the Supreme Court case Wisconsin Right to Life v. Federal Election Commission urging the court to protect the right of nonprofits to broadcast grassroots lobbying communications."
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Taking pleasure in the pain of others isn't the Christian thing to do. But conservative churches may be forgiven for feeling a bit of schadenfreude after the revelation this month that the Internal Revenue Service is threatening to revoke the tax-exempt status of All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, Calif. - one of the nation's largest liberal congregations.
Many evangelicals have been complaining for years that IRS regulations muzzle free speech of clergy from the pulpit. Now that people on the left are stirred up by the IRS threat against All Saints, people on the right are hoping to find common cause in challenging the IRS."
Monday, November 28, 2005
By Grant Williams
A bill passed by the U.S. Senate last week to encourage charitable giving is worrying some nonprofit leaders. They fear that a key provision in the legislation, if enacted into law, could put a damper on giving by Americans with modest incomes who itemize on their tax returns.
The Senate-passed measure — included in a comprehensive tax bill that deal with many areas beyond charitable giving — was designed to spur donations in several ways. The chief method would allow people who do not itemize deductions on their tax returns to write off a portion of their charitable donations. Individuals could write off the sums above $210 that they donate each year to nonprofit organizations; couples filing jointly could write off the amount that exceeds $420."
November 24, 2005
California is a difficult place to find balance, at least when it comes to legality surrounding state charity poker laws. Even state-based newspapers can't agree on the subject, with media coverage varying from the good being done by poker players and fundraiser tournaments, to the fact that in California charity fundraisers are officially illegal throughout the state. "
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
'The Council on Foundations has consistently supported reform and we believe that reform is best defined in the consensus recommendations advanced through the Panel on the Nonprofit Sector.
We believe that the charitable reform provisions included in the Senate Tax Relief Act of 2005 are much improved from those originally proposed by the Senate Finance Committee staff in a June 2004 discussion draft. However, there are still a number of issues that need to be addressed during the upcoming House-Senate conference on the bill."
Monday, November 21, 2005
Posted by: laurakujawski on Monday, November 21, 2005
Topic Public Works and Advocacy
Diana Aviv, president and CEO of Independent Sector, explains why IS supports the Tax Relief Act of 2005.
Independent Sector supports a package of charitable giving incentives and reforms included in the Tax Relief Act of 2005. As modified by a managers’ amendment filed late last night, the bill reflects many of the recommendations made by the Panel on the Nonprofit Sector, which was convened by Independent Sector. These provisions would correct abuses by taxpayers who claim excessive tax deductions and by individuals who use charitable organizations for personal gain. It also includes several tax incentives for charitable giving that IS has long advocated. "
by John Dart
A large, progressive Episcopal church in southern California, warned by the Internal Revenue Service that its tax-exempt status may be at risk over a preelection antiwar sermon delivered last year, says it intends to fight what it calls 'unsupported' assertions by the federal agency.
The IRS, citing a newspaper account of a guest sermon at All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena on October 31, 2004, said that the sermon by retired ex-rector George Regas may have violated IRS rules against endorsing political candidates.
Friday, November 18, 2005
The Chronicle, 11/18/2005: Senate Passes Measure on Charity Tax Breaks, Restrictions on Nonprofit Groups
By Grant Williams
The U.S. Senate on Fridaypassed legislation containing incentives designed to encourage charitable giving while also taking steps to ensure that donors are not inflating their tax write-offs. But the bill would also remove a key incentive for some donors.
Among the key provisions of the measure: People who do not itemize deductions on their tax returns would be allowed to write off a portion of their charitable donations. Individuals could write off the sums above $210 that they donate each year to nonprofit organizations; couples filing jointly could write off the amount that exceeds $420."
Thursday, November 17, 2005
Senate Finance Committee Approves Charitable Reform Bill
Charitable reform legislation has moved out the Senate Finance Committee by a vote of 14-6 and is headed for the full Senate. It’s a good news/bad news scenarios for charities. It could go to the full Senate as early as today (Nov. 16).
The good news is that the legislation includes provisions for tax deduction for non-itemizers and changes to allow IRA rollovers to nonprofits. The bad news is changes to how non-cash gifts will be valued, how charities account for property received and the receipting process."
PASADENA, Calif., Nov. 16, 2005
At the heart of All Saints Episcopal Church's battle with the IRS is a 2004 sermon entitled 'If Jesus debated Senator Kerry and President Bush.' (CBS)
(CBS) It was a fiery sermon, aimed far beyond the Sunday parishioners.
'The IRS Agents are welcome in our pews,' Rev. J. Edwin Bacon says during a recent sermon, but adds, 'they are not welcome in our pulpit.'
The reason, CBS News correspondent Sandra Hughes reports is the Internal Revenue Service is taking on the popular and liberal All Saints Episcopal church in a fight for its very survival. "
CHARITIES: Local resale shops question proposed master value list
BY KELBY HARTSON CARR
This story ran on nwitimes.com on Thursday, November 17, 2005 12:45 AM CST
'Tis the season for cleaning out closets, dragging bags full of retro clothes to the nearest resale shop and cashing in on a tax break.
Legislation under consideration in the U.S. Senate could alter the way people contribute clothing and household items to charities.
It would allow donors to get a tax deduction even if they don't itemize on their IRS taxes, which local charities heralded as a way to encourage giving. The donation must total at least $210 for a single filer, or $420 for joint filers."
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By Joanne Kelley, Rocky Mountain News
November 17, 2005
Tax write-offs for charitable gifts have long been reserved for those who itemize on their annual returns, but Congress appears ready to give everyone an incentive to open their wallets to needy causes.
The move to allow deductions by the roughly 75 percent of taxpayers who can't write off gifts because they don't itemize could take effect in 2006, now that lawmakers have included it in a key piece of pending tax legislation.
Local groups say the change could go a long way toward boosting charitable giving in the state. Colorado ranks 46th in the nation for its generosity, according to a 2004 index by the Catalogue for Philanthropy.
'Anything we can do to motivate charitable giving in Colorado is important,' said Charley Shimanski, president of the Colorado Nonprofit Association, which represents roughly 17,000 charitable groups."
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
After postponing the markup three times and significantly modifying the contents of the bill, the Senate Finance Committee finally approved its version of the tax cut reconciliation bill Tuesday evening, 14-6. The bill would increase the deficit by a net of $60.2 billion over the next five years. The committee was originally scheduled to markup the bill last Thursday morning, but ran into opposition from Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) to provisions to extend cuts to capital gains and dividend taxes, the heart of the Bush tax cut plan. As recently as this morning, Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) was unable to compile a package that would win the support of all Republicans on the committee but eventually convinced conservatives on the panel that removing the tax cuts for wealthy Americans would not put the issue to rest."
"Overall, the Senate bill includes many more tax breaks, including new deductions for charitable giving and private mortgage insurance premiums. It also tightened some tax shelters, curbed tax breaks for charitable giving and shaved tax breaks used by oil companies.
Senate tax writers would also prevent the alternative minimum tax from hitting millions more taxpayers next year. Lawmakers must act each year to prevent the levy, designed to prevent the wealthy from escaping taxation, from hitting less wealthy taxpayers. House tax writers left that provision out of its bill."
PLAINFIELD – A U.S. Senate committee found no evidence that the Islamic Society of North America, based in Indiana, helped to finance terrorism, officials said.
The Senate Finance Committee sought the tax records of two dozen Muslim groups in December 2003.
Committee leaders said they were looking at the “crucial role that charities and foundations play in terror financing.”"
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
NCPG - National Committee on Planned Giving: "NCPG CO-SPONSORS CONGRESSIONAL C.A.R.E. DAY (11/10/05)
AFP CO-SPONSORS CARE DAY EVENT ON CAPITOL HILL
(Nov. 14, 2005) On Tuesday, Nov. 8, AFP participated in Congressional CARE Day to urge Congress to pass the Charity Aid, Recovery and Empowerment (CARE) Act before the end of this session.
AFP joined with 20 other charitable and nonprofit organizations in meeting with more than 60 Senate offices during the event. Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) and Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) addressed the participants during a luncheon and thanked them for their efforts to raise the profile of the bill, S.1780.
By Jeff McDonald
UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
November 15, 2005
Ethics and accountability in the nonprofit sector might seem like a slam dunk. After all, no one goes into charity work for the money, right?
But the truth is, the world of philanthropy has been plagued by fraud, self-dealing and other moral lapses in recent years, leading Congress to consider the most sweeping reform of the nonprofit sector in decades.
Yesterday, about 100 charity executives and board members attended a University of San Diego symposium examining how stricter oversight might affect the work they do.
Not surprisingly, nonprofits are divided over the need for the broader regulations likely to come their way."
Monday, November 14, 2005
BY MARK MINTON
Posted on Sunday, November 13, 2005
Email this story | Printer-friendly version
Congress has trained its eye on what charities and their donors are doing with their money and their tax breaks.
A review begun more than a year ago by the Senate Finance Committee is expected to produce a first spate of reform proposals this week — a prospect that has some charities on edge.
The committee’s chairman, Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, has led the push for measures that he has said would make charities more accountable to taxpayers and donors. Charities, represented by Independent Sector, a Washington coalition, have acknowledged that gaps in laws contributed to some recent high-profile abuses."
By Josh Kleinbaum, Staff writer
Churches, school boosters and other nonprofit groups are calling the government's bluff, raising thousands of dollars through wildly popular Texas Hold Em poker tournaments that state officials say are illegal.
Two years into the nation's no-limit poker craze, organizations have found that tournaments are easy and more profitable than bake sales, car washes or other types of fund-raisers.
The baseball team from West Ranch High School in Stevenson Ranch made $12,000 in October, for instance, while the Make-a-Wish Foundation brought in a whopping $60,000 in an August tournament hosted by Kings star Luc Robitaille.
But the state attorney general's office says most charity poker tournaments are illegal, and the organizer could face a year in jail or a $5,000 fine for the misdemeanor violation."
By Deirdre Gregg
Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle)
Updated: 7:00 p.m. ET Nov. 13, 2005
The Puget Sound area's thousands of nonprofit organizations may be required to pay for independent audits and also be subjected to other new rules, if two of the state's top regulators have their way.
In an attempt to lay the groundwork for new legislation during the upcoming 2006 legislative session, the offices of the Secretary of State and the Attorney General have been circulating draft revisions to the charitable solicitations act and the charitable trusts act. And while many nonprofits are not yet aware of the regulatory effort, some nonprofit advocates strongly suggest that the proposals are too restrictive and costly."
Friday, November 11, 2005
by Brendan Coyne (bio)
Nov 10 - In a victory for nonprofit organizations, the Bush administration this week quietly withdrew a nearly two-year-old regulation requiring all charities participating in a government-backed federal employee donations program to screen employees and donation recipients for possible terrorist ties.
The rules do, however, still encourage groups to monitor themselves and includes a mandatory oath certifying that 'the organization… is in compliance with all statutes, executive orders and regulations restricting or prohibiting US citizens'"
By Steve LeBlanc, Associated Press Writer | November 9, 2005
BOSTON --Churches and other religious organizations would be required to disclose their finances like other nonprofit groups under a bill overwhelmingly approved by the state Senate on Wednesday.
Supporters of the bill, which has met opposition from the Catholic church and other religious denominations, say there's no reason to exempt religious groups."
Probe continues of 60 tax-exempt groups, IRS says - Nation/Politics - The Washington Times, America's Newspaper
By Guy Taylor
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
November 10, 2005
The Internal Revenue Service said yesterday that it continues to investigate more than 60 tax-exempt organizations -- including about 20 churches -- of accusations of engaging in improper political activities concerning the 2004 presidential election. "
IR-2005-133, Nov. 10, 2005
Washington — The Internal Revenue Service today issued guidance on steps large corporations and tax-exempt organizations can take to seek waivers from electronic filing requirements.
Notice 2005-88 establishes the bases under which taxpayers can request waivers from the electronic filing requirement:
Where the taxpayer can not meet electronic filing requirements due to technology constraints; or
Where compliance with the requirements would result in undue financial burden on the taxpayer."
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Filling out the details of a special Gulf Coast business zone proposed by
Senate Finance Committee Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, proposed tax breaks for equipment and building investments. Other items help businesses with the cost of demolition and cleanup as well as reforestation.
Grassley would also let individuals affected by hurricanes Rita and Wilma take advantage of some tax assistance offered to those in Hurricane Katrina's wake."
"Michael Nilsen, spokesman for the Association of Fundraising Professionals in Alexandria, says its members are reporting car donations down 20 to 40 percent this year. His hope is that people tend to adjust to changes over time, he says, but he's not optimistic.
'People donate a car because they want to get rid of it. But if they don't feel they're going to get enough value out of giving it, I'm not convinced we're going to see the donations go back up,' he says"
The problem is that a simpler federal tax system requires doing away with some of the deductions so many of us hold dear.
For that reason, it's interesting that President Bush's Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform chose to take on that most cherished of tax deductions - the mortgage interest deduction."
By Christina Almeida
LOS ANGELES - The Internal Revenue Service has warned a prominent liberal church that it could lose its tax-exempt status because of an anti-war sermon given on the eve of the 2004 presidential election, according to church officials.
Rector Ed Bacon of All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena told Sunday worshippers the IRS claims the church violated federal tax code barring tax-exempt organizations from intervening in political campaigns and elections."
Published: November 9th, 2005 03:00 AM
Here come the lawmakers. As I wrote in my last column, Congress will soon be presented with several pieces of legislation from the Senate Finance Committee. What they will address is as yet unknown. But others are not waiting. In the past few weeks we have seen several bills presented or proposed.
In late September, as part of the Katrina Emergency Relief Act, several changes regarding charitable giving were made. As reported by Independent Sector, the tax package includes a “temporary suspension of the income limits on new individual cash charitable donations in 2005.” Wonderfully, this applies to donations to all charitable organizations, not just those involved in Katrina relief work."
Monday, November 07, 2005
NPQ - Publications - Back Issues: e-Newsletter - November 2005 - Slippery Slope Leads to Rocky Road for Nonprofits
by Rick Cohen
Sometimes, the nonprofit sector has to “just say no”—and say it with courage and power, even with the possible consequence of rejecting long-sought government funding programs. As has occurred many times before, the nonprofit sector faces new challenges that threaten to strip charities of their advocacy and free speech rights at the price of access to government and even quasi-public dollars.
The 30-day battle that took place in October concerning housing legislation foreshadows the rocky road ahead for nonprofits. When the U.S. House of Representatives on October 26 overwhelmingly approved legislation to modify the oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the nation’s two behemoth governmentally sponsored enterprises (GSEs) in the home mortgage field, something was seriously amiss.
As part of the bill, H.R.1461, the House also approved the creation of an affordable housing trust fund to be capitalized by 3.5 percent of Fannie’s and Freddie’s profits. The problem? Congress acceded to the demand of the arch-conservative wing of the Republican Party, in this case in the form of the Republican Study Committee (RSC), to attach restrictions that applied to nonprofits and only nonprofits interested in applying to the fund for affordable housing project subsidies, restrictions unrelated to affordable housing, the functions of the housing trust fund, or anything other than ultra-conservative Republican animus."
Some Non-Profit Organizations have a public image problem, or are plain crooked. A law regulating their fund raising is needed now
By Ho Yi
Sunday, Nov 06, 2005,Page 17
Feng Yen is a spokesperson for the Taiwan NPO Self-Regulation Alliance.
PHOTO: FANG BIN-ZHAO, TAIPEI TIMES
When four Taipei City Government councilors wrongfully accused the Children Are Us Foundation (喜憨兒社會福利基金會) of exploiting its workers with developmental disabilities, at a press conference last month, the group saw its hard-won reputation crumble overnight.
Its offices were flooded with phone calls from concerned citizens demanding to know how their money was spent. Orders for Children Are Us Bakery items from corporations were canceled and donations were withdrawn."
By Joan Vennochi, Globe Columnist | November 6, 2005
FOR TOO MANY years, the Catholic Church has had its way with Massachusetts politicians.
Finally, some politicians are showing spine. They are standing up for churchgoers instead of the church, via a legislative proposal that calls for unprecedented financial transparency from churches and other religious organizations.
Six states require religious institutions to disclose some financial information in annual or biannual reports. The proposed Bay State bill is more comprehensive and would make the Commonwealth a national model when it comes to financial disclosure requirements. That is one reason the Catholic Church and other religious groups are fighting to kill it."
The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) is calling on its Canadian members to write to the Department of Finance regarding proposed new provisions affecting charities. The proposal would require that for any contribution of $5,000 or more, charities make 'reasonable' inquiries regarding advantages received by the donor, tax shelters, intended use of the gift, and other matters. However, the term 'reasonable' is not defined in the proposal, and charities could face financial penalties if they fail to fulfill the requirement. In a submission to the Department of Finance, the AFP argued that charities should not be required to perform these duties, and that this responsibility should go to charity regulators. The AFP is asking Canadian members to write to the department requesting that it modify the proposal to place less of a burden on the charitable sector. For more information, visit: www.afpnet.org."
Friday, November 04, 2005
Legislation Formally Recognizing National Philanthropy Day Introduced In the Senate of Canada: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance
Legislation Formally Recognizing National Philanthropy Day Introduced In the Senate of Canada: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance: "Legislation Formally Recognizing National Philanthropy Day Introduced In the Senate of Canada
Thursday November 3, 6:23 pm ET
OTTAWA, Nov. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Senator Jerahmiel S. Grafstein (Liberal, Metro Toronto), chair of the Standing Senate Committee on Banking, Trade and Commerce, introduced legislation that would create the first permanent government-recognized National Philanthropy Day (NPD) in the world."
You can read more about AFP and National Philanthropy Day on the AFP National Philanthropy Blog
and also on the AFP website
Nov. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Jack Abramoff, the high-powered Republican lobbyist accused of bilking clients out of millions of dollars, may become the symbol that transforms the world of Washington influence-peddling.
Senator John McCain, the Arizona Republican who has led a congressional probe of Abramoff, may introduce legislation to tighten regulations on lobbyists. McCain's old partners on campaign-finance overhaul, Senator Russell Feingold of Wisconsin and Representative Martin Meehan of Massachusetts, both Democrats, are proposing that lawmakers detail payments for travel, and lobbyists disclose whom they contact on behalf of clients."
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
Charitable reform and giving legislation is moving piecemeal in both the House and Senate, focusing on specific abuses of the sector and charitable giving incentives in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
In an Oct. 24 speech delivered to Independent Sector's 25th Anniversary Conference, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) explained the importance of 'reform and oversight' of the sector to 'safeguard the donors and taxpayers.' He went on to say he would have liked a complete reform package to have been ready this fall, but '(Hurricane) Katrina has affected this and many other plans.' Nonetheless, Grassley made clear that he will not give up his quest to bring greater accountability to the nonprofit sector, emphasizing that he is taking the 'long view' on the issue."
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Carrie Coolidge, 11.01.05, 6:00 AM ET
NEW YORK - Today, President George W. Bush's bipartisan tax-reform panel is expected to submit to the secretary of the treasury a report containing revenue-neutral policy options for reforming the Federal Internal Revenue Code. The recommendations are expected to simplify federal tax laws, though it appears as if the estate tax repeal has been put off indefinitely. "
Monday, October 31, 2005
Philanthropy Journal-Your online source for news about nonprofits, social issues, and policy change - newsarticle
Regulatory changes to go beyond heightened enforcement, Grassley says.
By Ret Boney
The Senate Finance Committee likely will introduce nonprofit reforms aimed at curbing abuses among certain kinds of tax-exempt groups, the committee's chair said.
'In general the reforms will focus on better transparency and improving board governance, particularly on self-dealing and high salaries,' Sen. Charles Grassley chair of the committee, told a group of nonprofit CEOs at a recent conference."
Andy Levy-AjzenkopfOctober 31, 2005
By Andy Levy-Ajzenkopf
Thirty-four years ago a government worried about recessions and revenue streams saddled the Canadian public with a new tax. Charities, community organizations, and individuals have been paying ever since.
The Canadian Capital Gains Tax came into existence in 1971 with the passage of Bill C-259. Based on the slogan 'a buck is a buck', the new tax law removed the distinction between personal income and capital gains from other assets. It was enacted to help finance the growing costs of the social welfare system and government expenditures."
Friday, October 28, 2005
Mr. Santorum also will try to attach a $7 billion charitable-giving proposal to a separate piece of legislation next week. The long-stalled charity bill would create a series of tax incentives to encourage individuals and companies to give to faith-based and secular social service charities.
'This is an opportunity for us to ... put forth some ideas,' he said. "
October 27, 2005
The House yesterday approved tighter oversight of the two largest buyers of home mortgages as majority Republicans also barred groups that run voter registration drives from getting money from a housing fund the companies would create.
The legislation, passed by a 331-90 vote despite White House opposition, would rein in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored companies that combine to finance or guarantee more than three-quarters of U.S. home mortgages. "
Monday, October 24, 2005
p2p news view / p2pnet: Sometime this week - possibly as soon as later today - the House of Commons will proceed to pass do-not-call legislation by giving Bill C-37 its third and final reading. While officials from all parties will likely point proudly to the new law as evidence that government can respond to the concerns of Canadians, the reality is that the bill has devolved into an embarrassing shell of its original self, rendered practically useless under the onslaught of lobby groups determined to thwart any attempt to limit their ability to call consumers at all hours of the day."
By JODI HECKEL
� 2005 THE NEWS-GAZETTE
Published Online October 22, 2005
SPRINGFIELD – The General Assembly will consider legislation that would restrict naming rights for state- and university-owned property during its veto session.
Such legislation would hurt the University of Illinois' ability to raise money through private donations, said a representative of the UI Foundation.
The bill calls for the state's executive ethics commission to give prior approval to all corporate sponsorship and naming-rights deals. It would also require that the deals be competitively bid and that they expire after 10 years.
'I've been at the Foundation for over 25 years and I've been involved in a huge number of major gift scenarios for the University of Illinois,' said Bill Sturtevant, vice president for principal gifts for the Foundation, who was at a committee hearing Friday morning when a draft of the bill was discussed."
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Events in 2005 have called for an unprecedented outpouring of generosity from individuals, nonprofit organizations and government to aid victims of natural disasters. Americans have responded with record levels of charitable giving to assist those in need, raising more than $1 billion.
It's heartening to know that something good has come out of the sadness and dislocation of Hurricane Katrina. That bit of brightness is the Katrina Emergency Tax Relief Act, known as KETRA, which Congress unanimously passed on Sept. 21 and President Bush signed into law on Sept. 23.
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
MARY DALRYMPLE; The Associated Press
Published: October 19th, 2005 12:01 AM
WASHINGTON – Most deductions, credits and other tax breaks would be eliminated along with much of the paperwork and equations that baffle taxpayers under a drastically simplified income tax proposed by a presidential commission Tuesday.
The President’s Advisory Panel for Federal Tax Reform, charged with developing ideas to make taxes fairer, simpler and more economically productive, endorsed two alternatives for inclusion in a report due Nov. 1."
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
It's universally difficult to watch a public person brought down, but former U.S. Rep. Frank Ballance of Warrenton received an appropriate sentence for misusing state money. The crime was worse because Ballance committed it while he was a respected, powerful state senator, and the money was destined for the John A. Hyman Memorial Youth Foundation, a nonprofit substance abuse agency founded by Ballance. The former 1st District congressman received a 4-year sentence from U.S. District Court Judge Terrence Boyle."
Oregon Daily Emerald - University of Oregon news and sports - Estate tax is necessary; it should not be repealed
By Emerald editorial board
October 18, 2005
As national debate continues over the repeal of the federal estate tax, it is upsetting to observe how such a government decision could affect Oregon citizens and University students.
The estate tax — spun by the current administration as a “death tax” — allows the government to tax a person’s property, cash and other assets after they die at rates up to 47 percent, but only if those assets total more than $1.5 million."
Monday, October 17, 2005
Mendoza innovator aims for Katrina aid
By Kate Antonacci
Published: Friday, October 14, 2005
Article Tools:Email This ArticlePrint This Article Page 1 of 3Next Page
Like many Americans affected by the traumatic hurricanes that devastated the south in August and September, graduate student Dan Kelly wanted to help.
His solution, however, was not to donate large sums of money or collect food and clothing, but to create a new tax plan.
'This idea could potentially become a tax law for the years 2005 and 2006. It still has a long way to go but it is generating speed and encouragement,' Kelly said.
Kelly, who is enrolled in a Tax Research graduate course offered in the M.S. in Accountancy program, has created a proposal that would give everyone who donates money to hurricane victims a deduction."
RESTRICTIONS ON AFFILIATIONS, ADVOCACY, AND NONPARTISAN VOTER PARTICIPATION FOR GRANTEES MUST BE REMOVED
SIMILAR TO THE 1995 ISTOOK ANTI-ADVOCACY AMENDMENT
A bill that will likely reach the House floor by Oct. 28 has a provision that would disqualify nonprofits from receiving money from a new affordable housing fund if they have engaged in voter registration and other nonpartisan voter participation activities or lobbying for certain groups within 12 months of applying for the money. They would also be barred from these activities during the grant period, even if non-federal funds were used to pay for it. More specifically, the bill would sweepingly restrict any group that affiliates with an organization that engages in such activities from applying for funds under the affordable housing fund."
Friday, October 14, 2005
* IRS Releases Draft Form 990
The IRS has posted a revised Form 990 on its website for comment. Under Part III, the draft form now asks organizations to check a box if any foreign grants were made. Similarly, under Part VI, the form now has additional questions about whether the organization maintains an office or has a financial account in a foreign country."
By ROGER W. HOSKINS
BEE STAFF WRITER
Last Updated: October 14, 2005, 04:17:50 AM PDT
Local charities were scrambling this week after the state Department of Justice announced a crackdown on gaming events sponsored by nonprofit agencies.
One such event is the Cattle Baron's Ball, which last year brought in $150,000 for the local American Cancer Society.
Cheryl Brunk, community services director for the Stanislaus and Tuolumne counties unit of the society, said the ball accounts for about one-eighth of the group's fund-raising.
'We do utilize the whole concept of funny money,' she said. 'It's not like you're having any kind of a financial exchange.'"
Drafting Oversight in Charitable Giving Act Affects Private Foundation Excise Tax
A drafting oversight in The Charitable Giving Act (H.R. 3908), introduced in the House by Representatives Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Harold Ford, Jr. (D-TN), affects the excise tax on net investment income paid by private foundations.
Currently, private foundations are subject to a 2 percent tax on their net investment income. However, the tax is reduced to 1 percent in any year in which the foundation’s percentage of distributions for charitable purposes exceeds the average percentage of its distributions over the five preceding taxable years. The Charitable Giving Act of 2005, as introduced, includes language that effectively eliminates the current two-tier rate structure and sets the private foundation excise tax rate at 2 percent regardless of the foundation’s distribution level.
Liz Moyer, 10.14.05, 6:00 AM ET
NEW YORK - The death tax lobby may have to compromise in its campaign to make a change in the estate tax all but inevitable. "
Thursday, October 13, 2005
A new Council on Faith and Community Service Initiatives was created by Governor Tim Pawlenty October 7.
It is designed to develop a closer connection between the state government and faith and community organizations.
The council will be comprised of 15 members appointed by the governor. Appointees will include representatives from faith and community organizations, foundations, corporations and public entities.
The council’s mission is to increase access to existing resources, reduce barriers to the delivering of services to the needy and other populations and promote best practices among such organizations."
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON - A presidential panel says tax breaks that promote homeownership and encourage businesses to give workers health insurance should be changed to help more middle-income families.
''Clearly, under present law, the higher-income folks benefit the most from those two aspects of the tax code,'' former Sen. Connie Mack, chairman of the President's Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform, said Tuesday.
Decisions on specific changes to recommend could be made next week as the nine-member panel wraps up its work, Mack said."
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
The raffle and bingo industry in Colorado topped $220 million in 2003, and it's a $160 million industry today. It's also a cash business, and with millions of dollars in cash flowing through clubs and organizations, state regulations serve as the check-and-balance system that ensures that money for nonprofits is being used in the proper fashion."
Friday, October 07, 2005
State May Ease Up But No Repeal Seen
October 7, 2005
By CHRISTOPHER KEATING, Capitol Bureau Chief
While death and taxes are inevitable, Connecticut's wealthiest thought they would be spared the distasteful combination of the two with the planned phase-out of Connecticut's inheritance taxes.
But a budget deal passed by legislative Democrats and signed by Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell earlier this year imposed a new tax on estates of $2 million or more. Now, as the revenue from that tax begins to roll in, the issue is still causing a stir in the state's enclaves of wealth."
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Huntsman promoting a 'flatter, fairer' state levy
By Bob Bernick Jr. and Lisa Riley Roche
Deseret Morning News
Charitable gifts and having up to three dependent children would be deductible — but not mortgage interest payments — under a 5 percent 'flatter' state income tax Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. proposed Wednesday.
Deseret Morning News graphic
Huntsman said the net effect of his tax reform proposal, which he said includes having a filing form the size of a postcard, would be a tax cut for most Utahns now paying 7 percent and a much better ranking for Utah on national tax-burden rankings."
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
While Senators and Congressmen were in their home states and districts for the August recess, ACE and the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) urged institutions to contact lawmakers on another issue: the impact of tax-exempt reform proposals on their institutions. According to the two associations, the legislative proposals could increase costs and reduce revenue for institutions and affect their relationships with students, families, donors, and employees."
A Wall Street Journal fact-checker called, thinking I must have made a mistake. But Congress made the mistake and now has to fix it. There are not enough Senate votes for repeal, so the debate is down to choosing between a 45-55 percent tax rate with a hypothetical $10 million exemption or Republican Sen. Jon Kyl’s plan of a 15 percent tax rate with a $3.5 million exemption. "
Monday, October 03, 2005
Association of Fundraising Professionals | U.S. public policy issues | U.S. federal issuesCARE ACT INTRODUCED IN HOUSE AND SENATE
(Oct. 3, 2005) The Charity Aid, Recovery and Empowerment (CARE) Act, S.1780, was reintroduced by Sens. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) and Joseph Lieberman (D-Conn.) on Sept. 28, 2005.
Reps. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) and Harold Ford (D-Tenn.) introduced companion legislation, H.R. 3908, in the House. The two bills are very similar to the CARE Act that was introduced in 2003 and include charitable giving incentives such as the IRA rollover and non-itemizer deduction."
Oct. 3 (Bloomberg) -- The award for candor in the post- Hurricane Katrina era has to go to Senate Finance Chairman Chuck Grassley, who observed that ``it's a little unseemly to be talking about doing away with or enhancing the estate tax at a time when people are suffering.''
Grassley's comment was an acknowledgement that there was something troubling about giving a multibillion-dollar tax cut to the nation's richest families while hundreds of thousands of our less fortunate fellow citizens endured the pain and devastation of a terrible natural disaster."
Friday, September 30, 2005
LIKE MUSHROOMS APPEARING after a soaking rain, numerous bills have popped up in Congress in reaction to hurricanes inundating the Gulf Coast. Many are well-intentioned, but some clearly seek to capitalize on the crisis and shove through ideas that have been shot down before. Lawmakers should be wary of such impulsive legislation."
Thursday, September 29, 2005
By Margaret M. Clark
The federal government has alleviated the severe tax consequences of early retirement plan withdrawals for victims of Hurricane Katrina and removed roadblocks standing between them and use of retirement savings to help rebuild their lives. The action came in the form of legislation from Congress together with guidance from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).
The Katrina Emergency Tax Relief Act of 2005 (KETRA, H.R. 3768) was approved by Congress Sept. 21 and signed into law by President Bush Sept. 23. It allows penalty-free distributions up to $100,000 from 401(k) and similar tax-favored retirement plans to people who lived in the Hurricane Katrina disaster area and suffered economic loss because of the storm."
The Council on Foundations - Charitable Reform Resource Center News-CARE Act Introduced in House and Senate
CARE Act Introduced in House and Senate
Today, Senators Rick Santorum (R-PA) and Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) and Representatives Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Harold Ford, Jr. (D-TN) introduced stand-alone charitable giving legislation in their respective chambers. Both bills would allow individuals to make tax-free contributions to charity from their IRAs and would allow non-itemizing taxpayers to take a charitable deduction.
On the House side, the Charitable Giving Act of 2005 is similar to legislation introduced by Representatives Blunt and Ford in the last Congress. In a statement released today, Blunt said, “In the wake of two back-to-back hurricanes, Americans are doing what Americans do best: helping one another. Our bill will help expand these charities’ base of resources, so they can continue to do the good work of helping the hungry, the sick, the addicted, and the elderly.” Representative Ford added, “At a time when our nation is in need of charity more than ever, the bill will empower Americans who have been desperate to help the victims of the recent devastation caused by the hurricanes.”
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
September 28, 2005, at 10:00 a.m., in SD215 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Charles Grassley, IA
Max Baucus, MT"
Relief act lifts penalty on tapping retirement funds for Katrina victims: South Florida Sun-Sentinel
By Harriet Johnson Brackey
Posted September 28 2005
Thanks to Hurricane Katrina, some South Floridians can tap their retirement accounts without incurring penalties and possibly income taxes, too.
President Bush signed the Katrina Emergency Tax Relief Act into law on Friday, sending a generous tax break to residents of Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe and a handful of other Florida counties along with federally declared disaster areas in Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi."
Thursday, September 22, 2005
By Elizabeth Schwinn
Congress passed several tax breaks designed to encourage donors to give to hurricane-relief efforts.
But many nonprofit leaders were frustrated that the measure did not include provisions that might do more to help charities raise money, especially for long-term hurricane-recovery efforts.
While the Senate initially passed a provision that fund raisers had long sought -- to allow people to give money in their individual retirement accounts to charity tax-free -- it was deleted from the final version of the bill approved by the House and the Senate."
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Room to give: The statement from LDS leaders wants charitable deductions to be spared
By Rebecca Walsh
The Salt Lake Tribune
When the LDS Church talks, people on Utah's Capitol Hill listen.
And Thursday, when an attorney representing the faith urged state lawmakers debating tax reform to keep a tax deduction for charitable giving in place, the message had the desired effect.
At word of the church's scheduled statement, Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.'s advisers pulled back a team of economists prepared to propose a 4.6 percent flat tax. They said they wanted to give the experts more time to refine their models. "
Sept. 16, 2005
By: Tad Clarke
Editor in Chief
A federal judge ruled that Indiana's do-not-call law does not violate the U.S. Constitution. At issue was whether nonprofits could have professional fundraisers make calls to numbers registered on the state's DNC file."
Related news from the Web
By Karen Lincoln Michel
Press-Gazette Madison bureau, firstname.lastname@example.org
MADISON — In addition to bitter-cold winters, Wisconsin’s estate tax gives wealthy residents another reason to consider relocating to another state."
Monday, September 19, 2005
By Ed Feulner
September 19, 2005
In Washington, nothing is certain except death, taxes and special-interest lobbying groups. So it makes sense the death tax has its own lobbyists.
That's right. 'Americans for a Fair Estate Tax' knows a Senate vote may come soon, and they have been hard at work. Their Web site describes the group as 'a coalition fighting to preserve a fair estate tax.' "
"State leaders worked this year to make Nebraska’s tax climate more friendly to the businesses that will bring jobs to our communities, and we also were successful in approving additional legislation that provides tax incentives for businesses and individuals who invest in the future of this state through donations to nonprofit organizations."
But now, amid pleas for aid after Hurricane Katrina, the Bush administration has launched an unusual effort to raise charitable contributions for another cause: the government's attempt to rebuild
Friday, September 16, 2005
By Elizabeth Schwinn
The House and Senate have passed legislation designed to help relief groups raise more money for Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts and to stimulate giving to charities of all kinds."
September 15, 2005
The AHA on Sept. 14 endorsed a recent report by the Panel on the Nonprofit Sector that recommends how organizations, Congress and the Internal Revenue Service can enhance transparency, accountability and governance in the non-profit sector. �Nonprofit hospitals and health systems provide important benefits to their communities, and the adoption of the panel�s recommendations will help strengthen their ability to continue that role,� "
Thursday, September 15, 2005
By WebCPA staff
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, said he hopes his chamber will vote on a bill to encourage charitable giving in response to Hurricane Katrina before the end of the week.
According to reports, DeLay said the House Ways and Means Committee is putting together a narrow package that would encourage more charitable giving to the Katrina private relief effort by providing targeted tax relief to the contributors to the recovery."
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
By JANE NORMAN
REGISTER WASHINGTON BUREAU
September 14, 2005
Washington, D.C. — It would appear 'unseemly' for Congress to push through a permanent repeal of the estate tax while also trying to come up with money for victims of the hurricane disaster in the Gulf, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley of Iowa said today.
Until recently, the Senate had been on track to consider a permanent repeal of the estate tax or 'death tax.' The tax generally is levied on the estates of those who die leaving behind $1 million or more in assets, according to the Internal Revenue Service. "
September 14, 2005
Lawmakers in the nation's capital have proposed tax changes to encourage charitable giving and help victims of Hurricane Katrina get back on their feet.
The Senate's top tax writers offered a package of tax aid that would let hurricane victims tap their retirement accounts without penalty. It also would assist businesses and encourage the donations of cash, food and school books.
Senators said the incentives, estimated roughly to reduce taxes by $5 billion to $7 billion, could pass quickly this week. It would be followed with provisions for health coverage for storm victims and, later, by tax incentives to rebuild battered towns and cities, they said."
In Post-Katrina World, Charities Need Help, Not Additional Regulation, Reform & Red Tape: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance
In Post-Katrina World, Charities Need Help, Not Additional Regulation, Reform & Red Tape: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance: "Press Release Source: Association of Fundraising Professionals
In Post-Katrina World, Charities Need Help, Not Additional Regulation, Reform & Red Tape
Tuesday September 13, 5:20 pm ET
ALEXANDRIA, Va., Sept. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) called on Congress today to create additional tax incentives that could increase charitable giving by billions of dollars.
AFP President and CEO Paulette V. Maehara, CFRE, CAE, urged Congress to pass tax measures to encourage charitable giving, such as those included in the Hurricane Katrina tax relief package recently outlined by Finance Committee Chair Charles Grassley (R-Iowa). The package includes tax incentives to encourage more gifts of food and books. It also allows donors to contribute money from their Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) or other qualified retirement programs"
September 14, 2005
BY JAMES L. MARTIN
The U.S. Senate is poised to either drive a stake through the heart of the most confiscatory tax ever enacted, or to go wobbly and allow this cruel, job-robbing, antigrowth estate tax to live on in infamy.
In the Senate, the high-water mark to repeal was 57-43, but because of the filibuster threat, it takes 60 votes. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., is to be commended for calling for an up-or-down vote on repeal, resisting the admonition of the deal makers and the compromisers who somehow didn't seem to get the message sent to them by the House: 'Kill the death tax; don't wound it.'"
The Chronicle: Daily news: 09/14/2005 -- 01-Higher-Education Officials and Senate Aides Discuss Colleges' Relief Needs
By JEFFREY SELINGO
A broad coalition of higher-education lobbyists went to Capitol Hill on Tuesday to ask Senate aides to remember colleges when putting together a relief package for industries affected by Hurricane Katrina.
Among the multitude of items on the lobbyists' wish list: financial assistance for colleges that have accepted students displaced by the storm and a new aid program that would encourage stu"
By ANDREW TAYLOR
The Associated Press
Wednesday, September 14, 2005; 3:42 AM
WASHINGTON -- A spate of bills to cut federal red tape and otherwise make it easier to get aid to victims of Hurricane Katrina has hit a slow patch as lawmakers wrestle over how to shape their response.
Congress zipped through bills providing $62 billion in emergency aid to hurricane victims but the broader legislative response is a work in progress."
Sep 13, 2005
By Tim Yarbrough
ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP)--Offering charitable tax benefits encourages Americans to give, rewards their generosity and assists organizations like the North American Mission Board on the front lines of disasters like Hurricane Katrina, NAMB President Robert E. “Bob” Reccord told a U.S. Senate subcommittee Sept. 13."
Tuesday, September 13, 2005
September 13, 2005
Bill Gates Sr. and, Chuck Collins
A devastating hurricane hits the Gulf Coast. The war in Iraq claims almost 1,900 American lives with no end in sight in both casualties and cost. And red ink flows through both short- and long-term federal deficit projections. Yet in the coming weeks, congressional leaders will move to abolish permanently the estate tax, America's only levy on concentrations of inherited wealth.
Only after considerable pressure to respond to Hurricane Katrina and observe Chief Justice William Rehnquist's funeral did Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist back off from his determination to begin the estate tax debate immediately after Labor Day."
Friday, September 09, 2005
Floyd Norris International Herald Tribune
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 2005
Hurricane Katrina may have cost very wealthy Americans a lot of money.
Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that it may have cost their heirs a lot of money.
The cost came not from the direct effect of the disaster. It came because the hurricane's impact on the poor people who remained in New Orleans made it politically unattractive for the Senate to vote on repealing the estate tax this week.
Such a vote is still possible in the congressional session, however, and if that does not pass there is some speculation that a compromise to slash estate tax rates by two-thirds might be approved.
Thursday, September 08, 2005
The Business Journal
Democrats are knocking Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl for favoring a permanent repeal of federal estate taxes, saying they will only help the super rich and could take needed revenue away from hurricane relief efforts and charities."
Compromise on estate tax
Our position: Katrina's huge cost is another good reason not to repeal the federal tax.
Posted September 8, 2005
When U.S. Senate leaders dropped plans to vote this week on permanent repeal of the estate tax, Hurricane Katrina succeeded where fiscally responsible members of Congress had failed.
Estimates of Katrina's cost to the federal government now top $100 billion. This is no time for Congress to do away with the estate tax. A repeal would add $290 billion to deficits over the next decade, according to Congress' Joint Committee on Taxation."
Wednesday, September 07, 2005
lLte Monday evening, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) felt compelled by circumstances to postpone a vote on repeal of the estate tax, which he had scheduled to be the first item of business when Congress returned to Washington today. That it took Frist so long to postpone the vote typifies the misguided priorities of the entire movement for repeal of the estate tax -- an effort to reward the privileged few at the expense of millions of Americans who struggle to get by from day-to-day."
Business in MaineToday.com | Maine Association of Nonprofits Strongly Encourages Special Session on Tax Reform
Portland, ME (9/6/05) - The Maine Association of Nonprofits (MANP), a statewide membership organization, representing over 500 Maine charitable and nonprofit organizations, urges Governor Baldacci to convene a special legislative session on tax reform. Last session's LD 1 was the first step in rebalancing Maine's tax code. A special session would allow for the time to complete the complex process of making additional necessary changes to the tax code. "
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
Sen. Charles Grassley (R - Iowa), Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has stated that there is virtually no chance that the Senate will back a full repeal of the estate tax when the chamber reconvenes to address the issue once again after the summer recess.
Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R - Tenn.) is planning a vote on H.R.8, which would repeal the estate tax beginning this year, and it could be one of the first bills on the Senate's legislative agenda during the September session, despite the more pressing issue of dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which has devastated the city of New Orleans and much of the Gulf Coast area."
Throughout the nation there is a rising call to create and uphold strong 'moral' values in public policy decisions. Moral values bring us together, make us stronger and healthier, and guide us to attend to the needs of those forced into situations of poverty and vulnerability. The process of examining and applying these values can lead us to become more responsible and active citizens. Our values provide a measuring stick that each American uses to form opinions on public issues."