Tax reform is certainly a commendable goal. After all, the last major reform of the tax code was in 1986, and since then Congress has made more than 15,000 changes to the code. Setting our nation’s financial house in order is critical. In doing so, however, Congress should carefully consider potential impacts of any changes affecting churches.

There is no simple answer to the question of what Congress’ blank slate could mean to churches and their leaders. At this stage, some question whether tax reform can realistically be achieved in this deeply divided Congress. Additionally, there is no certainty as to what code provisions could be changed or eliminated even if Congress does indeed proceed with tax reform under the recently announced blank slate approach.

What we do know is that if any of the provisions on the chopping block are overhauled as part of tax reform, the financial implications will be significant for churches and their leaders.

At ECFA, we are diligently working to educate key leaders on Capitol Hill and raise awareness of the potential impact of these changes. To follow the latest developments on tax reform issues of interest to churches visit our In the News page at

Dan Busby is president of ECFA (Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability), an accreditation organization that sets standards for governance, financial management, and fundraising/stewardship for churches and other nonprofits across the country.

Publication date: July 16, 2013