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Walker Introduces LIFT for Charities Act to Maintain Non-Filing Tax Status for Charities and Churches

July 19, 2018
Press Release
The Lessening Impediments From Taxes (LIFT) for Charities Act eliminates a measure that requires charities, churches, and traditionally tax-exempt organizations to pay federal taxes on employee benefits.

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  U.S. Representative Mark Walker (R-N.C.) introduced H.R. 6460, the Lessening Impediments From Taxes (LIFT) for Charities Act. This legislation would eliminate a measure that requires charities, churches, and traditionally tax-exempt organizations to pay federal taxes on provided employee benefits.

"This Congress has made historic strides to free American families and small businesses from burdensome regulations and taxes that inhibit the American Dream," Walker said. "Another important player in the fight to break the generational cycle of poverty are the charities and churches who serve our community. We need to make sure their critical work is not restricted by unnecessary taxes and strenuous compliance processes."
Examples of employee benefits that would be subject to taxation if the LIFT for Charities Act is not adopted include parking spots, provided meals, and transportation benefits. These benefits are critical to the mission of the organizations; for example, many Goodwill centers offer transportation to employees.

Another additional impediment to non-profit organizations without the passage of the LIFT for Charities Act is compliance burdens and fees. These organizations traditionally have not been required to file returns with the Internal Revenue Service. Without the passage of this legislation, these organizations will spend millions collectively on IRS compliance, further diminishing the resources they are able to spend on serving communities. 

You can read the full text of the legislation here.

Recent media reports have highlighted the difficulty this presents for charities and churches.

The LIFT for Charities Act follows Walker's work introducing the Universal Charitable Giving Act, which establishes an universal charitable deduction for individuals and married couples who do not itemize, in addition to the standard deduction.

Walker also released a video to announce the introduction of the bill. Watch it here and read the full script below:



"Good afternoon. As another productive week in Washington comes to a close, I am happy to head back home to North Carolina for the weekend. This week, the House passed my GAO-IG Act to fight wasteful spending and promote accountability from the federal government.
"But I am most excited because I just left the House chamber and I want to share some good news with you. I was privileged to introduce a new piece of legislation we are calling the LIFT for Charities Act. LIFT simply stands for Lessing Impediments From Taxes.
"This bill will maintain that charities and churches that serve our community are not burdened with unnecessary taxes and strenuous compliance measures for offering benefits to their employees.
"Here is why this is important: By supporting charities we can make our communities and our country a better place for Americans from all walks of life. Every dollar that a charity spends goes further than a government dollar. No surprise, right?

"In fact it has been found that government spends roughly 70% of a tax dollar to get 30% of resources to the people who need it. Conversely, charities and churches spend only 30% of every dollar to get 70% of their resources to people who need their help the most.
"The bottom line is this: every dollar we can save our charities and churches amounts to real change and opportunity in our community. A future paved. A story of redemption. Maybe a life saved.
"By ensuring that employee benefits like parking spots, meals, and transportation costs are not taxed, we can help these organizations do what they do best. And that’s change lives. I was proud to introduce the LIFT for Charities Act today and will be working with all of my colleagues in Congress to garner its support.
"As always, thank you and God bless."