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Reps. Ron Kind, Brad Wenstrup Introduce Bipartisan Bill to Update and Expand Charitable Deduction Rules for Veterans Organizations

July 29, 2021
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI) introduced the Charitable Equity for Veterans Act. This bipartisan legislation will expand tax-deductible donation eligibility to all Veterans Service Organizations, regardless of the proportion of war-time veterans the organization serves. The bill was introduced with Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH).   

“Veterans Service Organizations provide important resources and support for our veterans and military families, but outdated regulations are creating costly burdens for some of these organizations,” said Rep. Ron Kind. “That’s why I’m teaming up with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to introduce the Charitable Equity for Veterans Act. This bipartisan bill will cut through government red tape and amend the tax code to allow for all major Veterans Service Organizations – regardless of when and where their members served – to have the resources they need to assist our veterans back here in Wisconsin.”   

“VSOs play a critical role in assisting the large veteran population in southern and southwestern Ohio. Unfortunately, an outdated provision in our tax code makes it so some VSOs are not eligible for tax-deductible donations. This bill would update current law to ensure all congressionally-chartered VSOs are eligible for tax-deductible donations, enabling them to continue serving our nation’s veterans for years to come” said Rep. Brad Wenstrup. “I’m grateful to have bipartisan, bicameral support for this commonsense legislation.” 

 “Our Nation’s oldest and most trusted veterans non-profits are being harmed by a decades-old law. The IRS does not allow organizations like ours to receive tax deductible charitable gifts if we serve honorably discharged veterans who served in non war eras. This law is both antiquated and fundamentally inconsistent with how our nation values those that serve this incredible community. We commend Representatives Kind and Wenstrup for their leadership in getting this commonsense change across the finish line," said Jan Brown, AMVETS National Commander 

“By passing this bill, Congress will be doing two things. They will be helping our Congressionally Chartered organizations raise funding at the grassroots level and they will be recognizing the honorable discharged veterans who served in a non-wartime era. Our local posts in Wisconsin and across the nation have been affected by this law for a long time and the COVID-19 pandemic has only made matters worse. This legislation will significantly help our local posts raise funding to serve our veterans and local communities. The local veteran posts in every state are the ones who need the support of the country right now so they can continue their job of caring for veterans," said Duane Miskulin, Wisconsinite, and Past National Commander, AMVETS.  

The Internal Revenue Code is currently written to only allow tax-deductible donations to 501(c)(19) veterans’ service organizations that maintain a membership of at least 90 percent wartime veterans. This bill would lift the wartime service requirement for congressionally-chartered Veterans Service Organizations to accept tax-deductible donations, leading to better representation for the 2.4 million veterans who honorably served outside of wartime.   

Reps. Kind and Wenstrup serve on the Ways and Means Committee, the most powerful - and the oldest - committee in the House of Representatives. It has jurisdiction over tax measures, the management of public debt, trade and tariff laws, Social Security, Medicare, pensions, and many other economic growth measures. 

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