Donor-Advised Fund Bill in CA Stalled

Set against the background of the continuing, high-profile, debate about donor-advised funds (DAFs), the California Assembly in 2019 considered - but temporarily tabled until early next year - the nation’s first attempt at proposed regulation.  Assembly Member Buffy Wicks  (D-15) introduced AB 1712, “donor-advised funds,” on February 22, 2019, as a “spot bill” to meet an end-of-month legislative deadline for new Read More

Have Any TCJA ’17 Problems for Nonprofits Been Fixed?

Members of Congress are taking their customary six-week summer break, leaving behind a mountain of unfinished business. Among these important matters are fixes for parts of the controversial Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA ‘17) directly or indirectly affecting nonprofit organizations. Since the effective date of January 1, 2018, there’s been little more than hot air and hand-wringing from our distinguished Read More

New CA Legislature Action Affecting Nonprofits

California’s legislative schedule is set up in a way that each summer there is a rush of activity to get bills passed by the end-of-summer deadline. For 30 days afterward, the governor can either sign or veto legislation approved by both chambers. Even though both the Assembly and Senate currently have large Democratic majorities, there is some element of panic about whether the Democratic governor will give a Read More

Federal Action – and Inaction

Before the end of September, the U.S. House of Representatives had already recessed until after the November 6th election. The Senate will also recess for a certain amount of time in October and until November 7th. There are lots of unfinished pending and proposed federal legislative items that will languish until at least the lame-duck session; that is, November and December. Depending on the outcome, it’s unclear Read More

Johnson Amendment: Backdoor Repeal on the Table

During the 2016 presidential campaign, the Republican nominee fired up his evangelical supporters with a promise to repeal the Johnson Amendment, the brief phrase at the end of Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3) that bans any political-campaign activity.   At the first National Prayer Breakfast of the new Administration, he told the gathered group that he would “get rid of and totally destroy” it.  In the Read More

Nonprofits & The Spending Act

If you’re confused by the seemingly endless stream of budget battles in Congress, including the most recent spending act, you're not alone.  The Congressional budget and appropriations processes are tough nuts to crack for everyone except the most seasoned legislative and political operatives. To some extent, it is an ongoing issue because funds must be authorized and appropriated for each fiscal year, but it’s Read More

Congress & Nonprofits: What’s Happening Now

Late last year, Congress undertook an overhaul of the federal tax code that led to the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA). It included provisions, directly and indirectly, affecting nonprofits. Some items on the GOP leadership’s wish list had to be omitted because of Senate rules pertaining to the budget reconciliation path chosen by them to take advantage of a 51-vote margin of victory in the upper Read More

Net Neutrality and Nonprofits

It’s like we’re watching a master magician deftly keeping us laser-focused on what he’s doing with his right hand; that is, a lightning-speed, massive overhaul of the federal tax code.   His left hand, behind his back, is pulling a fast one on an issue as significant to all of us as the proposed tax changes. He’s hoping we won’t notice.   What is Net Neutrality? In a sense, this post’s title is a bit misleading. Read More

Nonprofits and the Tax Bills: Third-Quarter Action

Late last month, in Nonprofits and the Tax Bills: Half-Time Update, we reported on the action in the political football game called “tax reform.” By November 21st, the full House of Representatives had passed its version of the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” (H.R.1). In the Senate, moving at “lightning speed,” GOP legislators only reached the point of a party-line vote of the Senate Finance Committee advancing its version Read More