Independent Sector Statement on the House Tax Reform Bill

(WASHINGTON, November 2, 2017) – The following statement is from Daniel J. Cardinali, president and CEO of Independent Sector:

“The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act released today by the House of Representatives hurts charities, our communities, and the millions of families that we serve.

Rather than unlocking more charitable giving to encourage more people to invest in their communities, this bill moves in the wrong direction and only incentivizes a small, wealthy group of people to give. The bill raises taxes on charities to fund tax cuts to corporations – halting revenue flowing into the sector. As a result, the charitable sector, which is the third largest employer in the country, will likely see job loss, not job growth.

In fact, by raising the standard deduction and not adding the universal deduction, this bill effectively cuts out 95 percent of Americans from access to the only incentive that is altruistic. This is not in the spirit of what we advocated for with the universal deduction, which would have expanded the incentive to 100 percent of all taxpayers. In addition, the elimination of the estate tax is the clearest example of the way this bill shifts resources from charities and our communities to the wealthiest Americans.

Further, the Johnson Amendment provision in this bill is dangerous. It opens up places of worship to become an instrument of electoral politics and further blurs the lines between nonpartisan organizations and electioneering.

There are several other provisions in the bill that would directly affect the ability of charitable organizations to pursue their missions, and we are engaging with our partners to better understand their implications. We will continue to work with the House and the Senate to ensure any tax reform bill expands charitable giving, strengthens the charitable sector’s ability to serve communities, and offers solutions to all families.”


Independent Sector is the only national membership organization that brings together a diverse set of nonprofits, foundations, and corporations to advance the common good. Learn more at

Kristina Gawrgy Campbell

Types: Press Release
Global Topics: Congress, Public Policy
Policy Issues: Charitable Deduction, Charitable Giving, Donor-advised Funds, Estate Tax, Lobbying & Political Activity, Nonprofit Operations, Political Activity Rules, Private Foundation Excise Tax, Tax & Fiscal Policy, UBIT, Volunteer Mileage Reimbursement
  • Jerold Kappel

    This bill will have a very negative impact on philanthropy in California–and in other states and locales in which housing is very expensive. This will cripple nonprofits and the communities they serve.

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