The Senate is expected to vote on its tax plan next week, so now is the time to reach out to any Republican senators if you have concerns about how the bill treats associations and other tax-exempt organizations.

Republicans cleared the first hurdle in the Senate late on Nov. 16 when the Finance Committee approved the tax bill on a party-line 14-12 vote. But Senate leaders are still trying to line up votes for the package next week, with Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) already in the “no” column and others, such as Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), voicing skepticism about the inclusion of the repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate in the tax plan.

Senate leaders have already said more changes to the plan are likely when the bill is debated by the full Senate, so there is still an opportunity to have our voice heard. As you are aware, ASAE has been urging Senate tax-writers to remove a provision in the Senate bill that would tax royalty income derived from the licensing of an organization’s name or logo. Here is ASAE’s letter to Senate leaders from last week, along with talking points on the royalty issue. If you are concerned about this issue, please consider setting up a meeting with Senate staff back in your home state, or at least send your own letter of concern – particularly if your state is represented by any Republican senators, as the GOP is driving this effort.

While tax reform continues to progress quickly, we are able to have an impact on this process. Last week, during the Finance markup, Chairman Hatch eliminated a provision dealing with nonqualified deferred compensation plans that ASAE and others had opposed. ASAE had made the case that eliminating these plans would hurt nonprofit employees who in good faith entered into contractual agreements with their employers and who are counting on this benefit as part of their retirement planning. The provision would also hinder nonprofit employers in attracting and retaining top talent, ASAE said. While we need to be vigilant that deferred compensation doesn’t resurface as an issue when the House and Senate go to conference, the fact that the provision was removed from both the House and Senate bills shows that Congress is listening.

If you have any questions about either the Senate bill or the bill that passed the House last Thursday, feel free to reach out to ASAE’s Public Policy team at 202.626.2703 or publicpolicy@asaecenter.org.

Thank you for your help on this important issue, and we’ll keep you apprised of any new developments.

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