(Washington, D.C.) The National Restaurant Association today applauded members of the House of Representatives for passing H.R. 4719, “America Gives More Act of 2014.” The bipartisan legislation combines five bills designed to increase charitable giving to individuals and the charities that serve them. One provision important to the restaurant industry would make permanent the temporary provision allowing all businesses to take the enhanced deduction for donations of food inventory.
The NRA called for House members’ support of the legislation in a letter earlier this week, and has been an active voice in the process since earlier consideration by the House Committee on Ways and Means.
“America’s restaurants give back to their communities in major ways, one of the most significant of which is through food donation,” said Dave Koenig, Vice President, Tax and Profitability, National Restaurant Association. “The deduction for charitable donation of food inventory is a critical tool in alleviating hunger, as it helps to offset the costs associated with preserving, storing and transporting food donations. We thank members of the House for supporting this legislation, particularly Congressman Tom Reed for his leadership on this issue.”
According to NRA research, 83 percent of restaurants that made a charitable contribution in 2011 donated food to individuals or charitable organizations. The NRA has partnered with Food Donation Connection (“FDC”) to strengthen food donation efforts. Founded by a former restaurant executive, FDC serves as the liaison between restaurants and social service agencies adept at getting food to people in need. Since 1992, FDC has helped facilitate the donation of over 210 million pounds of food to non-profit hunger relief agencies.
H.R. 4719 would improve the current food inventory provision by extending the enhanced deduction to all businesses. For nearly 30 years since its inception in 1976, the tax deduction for contributions of food inventory was limited to C corporations. In 2005, the provision was temporarily expanded to include all businesses (i.e., Subchapter S corporations, limited liability companies). This temporary expansion has been extended on subsequent occasions. By allowing non-C corporations to take the same deduction, FDC has reported a 127 percent increase in pounds of food donated by restaurant clients. Making permanent the temporary component of the deduction would make it more effective, while advancing the objectives of providing taxpayers with simplicity and predictability.
Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises 990,000 restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of more than 13.5 million employees. We represent the industry in Washington, D.C., and advocate on its behalf. We operate the industry's largest trade show (NRA Show May 16-19, 2015, in Chicago); leading food safety training and certification program (ServSafe); unique career-building high school program (the NRAEF's ProStart); as well as the Kids LiveWell program promoting healthful kids' menu options. For more information, visit Restaurant.org and find us on Twitter , and YouTube.