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Higher Education Community Shares Views With Tax Conferees

March 16, 2006

Joined by NACUBO and five other higher education associations, the American Council on Education sent a letter to conferees on tax reconciliation legislation on March 2, setting forth higher education's priorities as provisions of the final tax reconciliation bill are negotiated.

In the letter, we have indicated that we support including the IRA rollover and the extension of the above-the-line deduction for college tuition. The letter also explains how several provisions included in the Senate bill, S. 2020, could adversely affect colleges and universities.

These provisions include:

  • Restricting the charitable deduction to giving over and above a specified floor ($210 for single taxpayers and $420 for taxpayers filing a joint return).
  • Requiring public disclosure of Forms 990-T, which would impose an obligation on exempt organizations that is not imposed on other taxpayers.
  • Requiring 501(c)(3) organizations with gross income and receipts or assets of more than $10 million to obtain certification of their Form 990-T by an auditor or counsel.
  • Prohibiting private foundations from making contributions to supporting organizations, and prohibiting supporting organizations from making grants to foreign entities.
  • New and complex regulatory guidelines for donor-advised funds in the Senate bill, which contain a number of provisions that could adversely affect charitable giving in situations where there has been no history of abuse and there is no reason to expect abuse will develop.

It is anticipated that the conference on tax reconciliation will not take place until the week of March 27.