Income tax reform group blasts sequester, talks tax overhaul and charitable giving

The group Americans for Fair Taxation has released a copy of a written statement sent to the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means, by AFFT Co-founder and Chairman Leo Linbeck, Jr. This 10-page, research-based Statement for the Record provides an in-depth analysis of the positive impact the nation's leading tax reform plan, "The FairTax Act of 2013" (HR 25/S 122), will have on charitable contributions and nonprofit organizations.

In the statement supporting replacement of the current federal income tax system with the FairTax, Linbeck emphasized that the FairTax Plan would expand philanthropy by improving economic growth – the primary determinant of charitable giving – and decrease the disincentives to giving inherent in the current tax code.

"The entire political establishment in Washington should be ashamed of itself for failing to address a fiscal crisis of its own making; one which, among other things, threatens philanthropy and charitable giving by driving down economic growth and real income. In this dire economic climate, if even half of the predicted consequences of the sequestration actually occur, adoption of the FairTax Act would counter the impacts while boosting private philanthropy and strengthening the safety net that so many Americans need," said Linbeck.

Linbeck admonished the Committee against assuming itemized deductions must remain after their tax reform efforts, stating, "We believe this is a mistake ab initio."  Instead, he recommended "The Committee must have the courage not to abdicate its responsibility to re-examine the viability of the current tax code in its entirety to determine whether there is a better tool through which we can assure America's prosperity and values into the 21st century."

Americans for Fair Taxation was formed in 1995. It is a nonprofit 501(c)(4), nonpartisan organization dedicated to replacing the current tax system with a progressive national retail sales tax, a "prebate" to ensure no American pays federal taxes on spending up to the poverty level, dollar-for-dollar federal revenue neutrality, and, through companion legislation, the repeal of the 16th Amendment.