House Passes Charity and Internet Legislation

On September 17, 2003, the House by a 408 to 13 vote approved the Charitable Giving Bill of 2003 (H.R. 7) to provide tax breaks to encourage charitable donations. The bill includes among some two dozen provisions a charitable contributions deduction for nonitemizers, tax-free charitable distributions from IRAs for taxpayers over age 70 1/2, an increase in the cap on corporate charitable contributions, an expanded deduction for food inventory, promotion of charitable contributions by S Corporations, and several provisions with respect to private foundations. Total ten-year cost of the legislation is estimated at $12.6 billion. Efforts to include offsetting revenue provisions related to abusive tax shelters were defeated. The Senate passed similar legislation, the Charity, Aid, Recover and Empowerment (CARE) bill (S 476), but including revenue offsets, in April, 2003. The bill now moves to a House/Senate conference to resolve differences.

On September 17, 2003, the House also passed the Internet Tax Nondiscrimination Bill (H.R. 49) making permanent the federal moratorium on state and local taxes on Internet access and multiple or discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce that was enacted under the Internet Tax Freedom Act. The Senate has not yet acted on its version of the legislation.


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