Charitable giving declines following 2017 tax reforms; newly proposed legislation would reinstate charitable deductions

Posted on: December 5, 2019

“U.S. charities are feeling the full impact of the 2017 tax reforms as a drop in donations,” reports Nova Safo in Monday’s (12/2) American Public Media “Marketplace” program. “The law increased the standard deduction to allow more Americans to claim it. But that removed an important incentive for charitable contributions, which could reduce tax burdens. Under the 2017 law, the standard deduction nearly doubled to $12,000 for single filers and $24,000 for couples. For most Americans, that increase meant that they no longer needed to itemize their deductions—including charitable contributions. Many charities have reported declines in giving since the law went into effect. In the first half of this year, fundraising revenue was down 7.3% compared to the same period last year for more than 4,000 organizations … Steve Taylor, senior vice president and counsel for public policy at the United Way, the largest American charity, said, ‘We believe there is a direct cause and effect between the tax law and the drop in giving.’ ” On December 3, Representative Mark Walker of North Carolina introduced the Universal Charitable Giving Act, “which would allow more Americans to once again deduct charitable contributions,” up to $4,000 for individuals and $8,000 for married couples.

Posted December 5, 2019