Lawmakers Deserve Credit on Gift Tax Language in Omnibus

Michi Iljazi

January 5, 2016

The passage of tax extenders, as part of the Omnibus spending bill in December, was a mixed bag of victories and defeats for taxpayers.  The Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) called for separate votes on the tax extenders because some made economic and fiscal sense, while others, like wind and solar subsidies, were merely corporate welfare handouts. One victory in the Omnibus was the inclusion of H.R. 1104, the “Fair Treatment for All Donations Act,” aka the “Gift Tax.” H.R. 1104, which unanimously passed the House earlier this year, prevents the targeting of nonprofits by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) by clarifying IRS law that any gift over $14,000 to a non profit classified as a 501 (c) (4), 501 (c) (5), or 501 (c) (6) would not be subject to the gift tax.

Passing H.R. 1104 provides certainty to groups and individuals that they will not be subject to partisan attacks from the IRS using a potential tax increase as a threat.   This will also limit future attempts to influence the political process.

Groups from all sides of the ideological spectrum should welcome this accomplishment, and TPA is grateful for everybody’s work on this issue. There are many people to thank but it is important to start with those who played the biggest role in making this victory happen.

First, Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Illi.), whose efforts go back to the early Spring of 2015 when he first offered the legislation.  TPA highlighted H.R. 1104 and Rep. Roskam appeared on the ‘Taxpayer Watch’ podcast to discuss why it was so critical. Efforts continued with House passage, and Rep. Roskam fought every step of the way to make sure this legislation could eventually be voted on in the Senate. A great deal of thanks is owed to Rep. Roskam from TPA and many others.

TPA would also like to thank Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and those who signed his “Dear Colleague” letter urging inclusion of H.R. 1104 in end of the year legislation. Rep. Nunes, along with fifty other members of the House took an important step in getting ‘Gift Tax’ language closer to final passage. TPA is grateful to Rep. Nunes and all who signed his letter (see the list here).

While TPA would have preferred a standalone vote in the Senate after passage in the House, the inclusion in the Omnibus paved the way for passage of H.R. 1104.  House Leadership was instrumental in making this victory possible.

Victories are difficult to come by, but having H.R. 1104 now law is a major win all around. TPA thanks those who helped in making that victory a reality.

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