On March 27th, Representatives Seth Moulton (D-MA) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) introduced the Save Organizations That Serve (SOS) America Act (H.R. 6408) to provide emergency funding for nonprofits and create a universal charitable deduction. This Act would work in tandem with the already passed CARES Act, with a distinction to ensure all nonprofits qualify for small business loans, removing the 500-employee cap. As of April 10, 2020, this bill has not yet been passed.
The SOS America Act would:
- Provide charitable nonprofits with $60 billion for emergency funding proposals. The bill provides for $60 billion in emergency support for charitable nonprofits and cash to the organizations serving immediate needs in communities due to the pandemic.
- Create a robust universal charitable deduction. This would improve the proposed charitable deduction of the CARES Act (which set a $300 cap) by allowing all taxpayers to immediately claim the deduction on 2019 taxes and beyond, regardless of whether a taxpayer itemizes deductions in order to encourage and increase charitable giving.
“The focus of our efforts to save America’s small businesses must include all of our nonprofit organizations,” said Rep. Fitzpatrick. “Our community and our nation, and those most in need, cannot survive without them.”
The bill is cosponsored by Representatives Elissa Slotkin (D-MI), Jim McGovern (D-MA), Stephen Lynch (D-MA), Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Lori Trahan (D-MA), and Harley Rouda (D-CA).
Nonprofits have spoken out in favor of the proposed bill to empower lawmakers, including Goodwill Industries International, YMCA of the USA, United Way Worldwide, Habitat for Humanity International, The Jewish Federations of North America, and the American Heart Association.
Brian Gallagher, President and CEO of United Way Worldwide, spoke out in favor of the bill, “the COVID-19 pandemic is causing individuals and families, particularly those most vulnerable, to make stark decisions about their lives and livelihoods. To put it bluntly, nonprofits meet these people’s needs and many are being stretched to their limits. Local United Ways around the world are stepping forward to help everyone, from workers to children to seniors, and 211 call centers that provide accurate information are experiencing 200- to 300-percent increases in call volume. Bipartisan legislation that ensures charities are able to access the resources required to keep their doors open will reduce Americans’ suffering and shorten the duration of this crisis.”