Charitable change on Capitol Hill: What does it mean for you?

by David Wills  |  September 15, 2011  |  Type: News

With all the heated debates centered around the new Jobs Bill, proposed by President Obama on Monday, it's often difficult to understand what the changes in Washington would mean for your giving. At National Christian Foundation, we're here to:

  • Be a voice in D.C. on your behalf and try to influence our lawmakers on decisions regarding charitable giving
  • Help you understand what is transpiring in your nation's Capital
  • Propose solutions to help you continue giving with confidence

For several years, there have been many ideas circulating in Washington about how to cut spending and generate more revenue. When it comes to the role of the charitable income tax deduction, these discussions are not partisan in nature. Our President has proposed greater limitations on the charitable deduction and so have some Republican leaders, as well. If we continue down the slow economic growth and massive spending road we are on, we should not be surprised to find such tax incentives curtailed.

Though we are seeking to influence how Washington handles this, it is always good to seek wise counsel, plan ahead, and be prepared. Here are a few thoughts for your consideration as these changes are being debated by our lawmakers: 

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take."
– Proverbs 3:5-6 (NLT)
  • Take advantage of what you have today – Change is coming. Whether the tax laws change tomorrow or in a few years, we want you to be prepared. Now is the time to take advantage of the current charitable giving tax deduction. At this time, our country's tax laws are very favorable in how they encourage charitable giving. Maximize this advantage now.

  • Be well-planned – As tax rules change, there will be a greater need for planning. In life, we all experience significant changes that require major preparation. Whether it's a birth of a child, a death of a family member, or a change in the tax law, there is no need to fear. But, major change requires being well-planned. 
  • Talk with your financial advisor – There's never been a better time to talk with your financial advisor about topics such as opening a Giving Fund (donor-advised fund), pre-funding your giving, and advancing to asset-based giving. Talking through your options can help you make the most of your generous giving and understand the current charitable giving environment. Also, I want to encourage you to find like-minded advisors. Having such advisors has never been more important than it is today.

The good news in all this chaos is that the charitable community has fought this battle before and won. Through all the changes in Capitol Hill, we're committed to helping you find giving solutions. And in all situations, trust the Lord, and pray that He will grant favor and wisdom upon our lawmakers.

David Wills is President of National Christian Foundation in our Atlanta office. His passions are centered on generosity and eternity, and he therefore invests his time helping others "lay up treasure in heaven" (Matt. 6:20).

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