A great deal of ink and electronic bits have been spilled this past year on the issue of increasing the payout requirement for private foundations. While the notorious H.R. 7 contained some provisions on this, that bill is currently in limbo because of the overall challenges to getting a tax bill passed last year. Nevertheless the issue of payout is and will remain alive.
Three separate but interrelated primary questions are at stake here: 1) Should the current minimum payout requirement of 5% for private foundations be increased? 2) What would be the effect of such an increase on the corpus of foundations over the long term? Would it threaten perpetuity? 3) Does perpetuity matter?