Sens. Chris Coons, D-Delaware, and James Lankford, R-Oklahoma; and Rep. Mark Walker, R-North Carolina, re-introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation to protect churches, charities and other nonprofit organizations from a provision in the tax law that would tax some employee benefits for the first time.
The Lessening Impediments from Taxes — LIFT — for Charities Act would repeal a section of the tax code that requires some tax-exempt organizations to pay federal taxes on employee benefits, like parking, meals or transportation benefits.
“As co-chairs of both the National Prayer Breakfast and the Senate Prayer Breakfast, Sen. Lankford and I believe that we have a moral obligation to support our neighbors most in need, and nonprofits play an essential role in doing just that,” said Coons. “Nonprofits are organized around a cause, mission or community need; and employees of nonprofits often have the same access to parking and meals that others in the community have because the nonprofit serves the whole community. Requiring these organizations to pay a federal tax on these employee benefits, something they have never been required to do before, will cause them to not only face an increased operating cost, but also an administrative burden. I am proud to join Sen. Lankford in addressing this unfair and burdensome tax, and I urge my colleagues to consider this important piece of legislation so that America’s charitable nonprofits and houses of worship are able to continue providing critical services to communities without undue burden.”
In November 2018, Lankford and Coons sent a letter to Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin expressing their concerns about the challenges faced by tax-exempt organizations, such as charitable nonprofits, houses of worship and foundations, regarding compliance with new tax liabilities.
In November 2017, Lankford and Walker also introduced the Universal Charitable Giving Act in the Senate and House, which would create a universal charitable deduction in addition to the standard deduction for individuals and married couples that do not itemize. Additionally, Lankford serves on the Senate Finance Committee.