2018 Year-End Tax Legislation

December 12, 2018 — In December of 2018, chief executive officers of Church Alliance member organizations submitted letters to key Congressional leaders, urging resolution of two important policy issues facing members’ benefit programs and the religious communities they serve. The first issue relates to the recent position taken by the Treasury Department and IRS, under which certain church-affiliated organizations are barred from sponsoring church retirement income account plans offered under section 403(b)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code. The second issue relates to a provision in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“the Act”), which subjects tax-exempt church organizations to unrelated business income tax (UBIT) liability and reporting requirements on amounts spent to provide parking to employees. 

The letters urge passage, by the end of the year, of bipartisan and bicameral legislation that would resolve these two issues. Legislation introduced to address the first issue would affirm the broad availability of retirement income account plans to certain church-affiliated organizations, protecting the retirement security of thousands of workers participating in such plans. Legislation introduced to address the second issue would, in case of the House bill, repeal the section of the Act that subjects church organizations to the new UBIT liability and reporting requirements. The letter to Senate leaders urges for the advancement of similar legislation to repeal that part of the Act before the end of the year so the resources of America’s religious communities may be properly directed and focused on their mission work.  

The three letters can be viewed here.