Nonprofits hope to soften fall from fiscal cliff

December 6, 2012

Minnesota Council of NonprofitsJon Pratt, executive director of the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, said he was in Washington earlier this week along with hundreds of other nonprofit leaders. Their goal was to meet with lawmakers and get their message across that any fiscal cliff solution that uses nonprofits to shoulder some of the burden will hurt both nonprofits and the people they serve.

But it’s too early to panic, Pratt said.

“They’re still in the decision-making phase,” he said. “We’re urging (nonprofits) to contact their legislators.”

Tax rates will be the key to what ultimately happens to nonprofits. Whether its estate tax rates or income tax rates, people generally make a decision on whether to give based on the amount of money they take home after taxes.

Pratt said the best scenario for nonprofits would be a change in how charitable giving is treated at tax time. Instead of having it be among the deductions listed in an itemized list, it should be a general deduction on the main tax form. That would pull it out of the deduction-cap picture entirely.