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Policy Update: AFP Urges Senate Committee to Support Tax Incentives for Giving

(March 29, 2011) Tomorrow, March 30, 2011, the Senate Finance Committee will hold a hearing titled "How Do Complexity, Uncertainty and Other Factors Impact Responses to Tax Incentives" to determine whether tax incentives actually work, or whether they reward behavior that would have occurred anyway. 

AFP is submitting comments to the committee urging it to support tax incentives that encourage charitable giving, oppose the Administration's proposed cap on itemized deductions (including charitable deductions) and extend the IRA Charitable Rollover provision, which will expire at the end of 2011.

According to the committee's press release, Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), Chair of the Senate Finance Committee, will ask about the extent to which taxpayers change their choices in response to tax incentives intended by Congress to encourage activities like retirement saving, charitable giving and investment.  He will ask the witnesses about how responses to tax incentives are affected by the tax code's complexity caused by the 15,000 changes made since the 1986 Tax Reform Act, uncertainty brought on by legislative battles over reauthorizations and expirations, and overall design and administration.  He will also ask about low-cost ways to increase responsiveness to tax incentives.

The witnesses at the hearing will be:

  • Dr. Eric J. Toder, Institute Fellow, Urban Institute, Co-Director, Urban Institute-Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center
  • Dr. Raj Chetty, professor, Department of Economics, Harvard University
  • Dr. Robert Carroll, principal, Quantitative Economics and Statistics, Ernst & Young, LLP



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