Safeguarding Charity Act: Protecting Nonprofits From Political Overreach

The Roundtable is proud to announce its support for the Safeguarding Charity Act.  

This important legislation, introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rep. Greg Steube (R-FL), would protect the independence of tax-exempt organizations and reaffirm that tax-exempt status alone is not government assistance.  

The receipt of federal financial assistance triggers compliance with a staggering number of federal laws and regulations. Entities that do not comply with these legal requirements can have their tax-exempt status revoked by the IRS.  

America’s rapidly increasing political divide has emboldened politicians and activists on both sides to seek new ways to target their opposition. Nonprofit organizations increasingly find themselves in the crosshairs of our ongoing political and cultural wars. 

In Buettner-Hartscoe v. Baltimore Lutheran High School and E.H. v. Valley Christian Academy, the courts ruled tax-exempt status is a form of federal financial assistance. These decisions threaten tax-exempt organizations such as charities, private schools and churches with the unnecessary regulatory burden traditionally reserved for entities that receive government assistance. 

These rulings not only contradict legal precedent and congressional intent, they threaten a wide range of tax-exempt organizations that do not accept federal financial aid. The Safeguarding Charity Act would clarify that tax exempt status alone does not meet the definition of federal financial assistance.   

Targeting nonprofit organizations that exist to address community problems and provide assistance for those in need should be off limits on the political battlefield. We thank the senator and representative for working to protect nonprofits from becoming victims of our overheated political environment. 

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