Subject: ADVOCACY ALERT - Comment on IRS Changes - by midnight tonight

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ADVOCACY ALERT
December 16, 2015
PROPOSED CHANGES TO IRS DONOR DOCUMENTATION
COMMENT DEADLINE TODAY MIDNIGHT
PROBLEM
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has proposed new regulations that would compel nonprofits to collect Social Security numbers (SSN) or taxpayer identification numbers (TIN) from donors to substantiate gifts above $250.

DETAILS
Currently, the IRS requires nonprofits to substantiate gifts of $250 or more by providing written documentation to donors stating the amount of the gift. Many arts organizations already have a fully functional process in place. Although this additional proposed process would technically be voluntary, the prospect of giving up SSNs or TINs would discourage many donors from giving gifts of more than $250 - or giving at all.

Collecting SSNs and TINs would impose significant legal requirements on arts organizations. The responsibility of protecting such sensitive donor data would be a sizeable (and expensive!) burden for many of them, forcing them to either pony up thousands of dollars to securely store it, or fail to do so and risk leaving it exposed. A forced choice between financial security and cybersecurity is not a healthy one for any organization to have to make.

See Huffington Post story here.
"When should donors provide their Social Security number to a nonprofit? Common wisdom and universal advice from endless sources say "never." But a dangerous new proposal from the IRS would change the answer to an iffy, "it depends," confusing the public, stifling donations for charitable works, and opening the floodgates to fraudsters." More...
WHAT YOU CAN DO
You can submit a comment via a website set up by The Performing Arts Alliance hereYou can also submit comments directly to the IRS here.

The deadline is midnight tonight, Wednesday, December 16.

Nonprofits from all sorts of industries are making their voices heard at the IRS, and the arts community ought to do the same. You can also help by sharing details with colleagues, appealing to them to stand with us against these potential regulations that could cripple many organizations.

TIPS ON COMMENTS
  • Include organization name, city, state, and the type of work that you do
  • Say how this proposal might impact your donors
  • Brief, direct comments are most effective, although they can be anything from one sentence to a complete economic analysis
  • Be solution oriented.
  • Maintain a respectful tone even if the comments express strenuous disagreement with proposed regulations.
  • Assume that whatever you file as comments will be made publicly available.

Let us know if you send in a comment.

THANK YOU!

Thanks to Fractured Atlas BlogNational Council of Nonprofits and Louis Pietig, Norwalk Symphony.
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