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AFP Urges Inclusion of Capital Gains Provision in Throne Speech, First Budget

Also see: AFP Applauds Call for Tax Reductions for Canadian Nonprofits

(Feb. 25, 2006) The Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) has sent a letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper encouraging him to move quickly to eliminate the capital gains tax on gifts of appreciated securities to charity.

The proposal, which was a part of the Conservative Party’s campaign platform before the recent election, would remove a key obstacle that has prevented many donors from giving significant gifts to charitable organizations. Independent research sponsored by AFP and others, and prepared by accounting firm Deloitte & Touche and financial services firm TD Economics, has shown that eliminating the capital gains tax on such gifts would dramatically increase giving by hundreds of millions of dollars.

In a letter to the prime minister, AFP noted that since the Conservative Party championed this proposal and subsequently won the election, it is quite likely that “donors will delay their major contributions until this change becomes law, a situation that would be highly detrimental to Canada’s voluntary sector.” AFP urged the Prime Minister to include the elimination of the capital gains tax for such gifts in his inaugural Throne Speech and to ensure it was included in the budget.

“AFP was very pleased that Mr. Harper and the Conservative Party put charitable issues, such as the elimination of the capital gains tax, front and center during the campaign,” said Susan Mullin, CFRE, director of development for the York University Foundation in Toronto and chair of AFP’s Canadian Government Relations Committee. “Now it’s equally critical that this issue receives immediate attention, because donors will expect it to happen.”

The elimination of the capital gains tax on gifts of appreciated securities to charity is AFP’s primary legislative issue. Over the past several years, the proposal has been recommended by the House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Finance in its Pre-Budget Consultations. In addition, it has the support of the full charitable sector and all political parties.

AFP will follow up on its letter with additional contacts to Mr. Harper’s office. It also will contact other political parties to ensure that support for the provision is lined up for 2006.

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