Charitable Deduction Resource Center
The federal government must continue to support philanthropy.
Tax incentives for charitable giving, such as the charitable
deduction, send an essential message about the value our
society places on voluntary giving and the important role of
charitable organizations in meeting critical individual and
community needs. The true beneficiaries of the charitable
donation are not the generous Americans who make charitable
gifts, but all citizens whose local communities, nation, and
world are made better through the work of charitable
Americans do not make charitable gifts
for tax reasons, but tax incentives encourage more giving and
make bigger gifts possible. Tax incentives for charitable
giving send a message that helping others is a core value to
be encouraged. The charitable deduction is not a matter of
providing a reward or something of value to the taxpayer;
rather it is a matter of encouraging those with financial
means to use their wealth to help those without. This
voluntary redistribution of wealth is a cornerstone of
Americas philanthropic heritage.
Congress to reject any proposals that would eliminate or limit
the value of the charitable deduction. Take action now by
contacting your Members of Congress, and make sure they do all
they can to protect the charitable deduction.
identifying your two
and one Representative.
To download a letter that you can customize, click
here. To contact them by phone, use their direct numbers
or call the Congressional switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask
to speak to your elected officials. Please use the following
- I strongly urge you to oppose any proposal that would
eliminate or limit the value of the charitable deduction. The Administrations
proposal to cap itemized deductions at 28 percent for higher income taxpayers,
for example, would have long-lasting negative consequences on charitable
organizations that millions of Americans rely on for vital programs and
- It is estimated that this proposed cap on itemized
deductions could cost charities as much as $7 billion per year in charitable
- Americans strongly support the charitable deduction.
In an April 2011 Gallup poll, 71 percent opposed eliminating the charitable
deduction to lower the overall income tax rate, and 68 percent opposed
eliminating the charitable deduction to reduce the federal budget deficit. More
people supported the charitable deduction than other popular deductions like the
home mortgage interest deduction or state and local tax deduction.
- The difficult economy has had a significant impact
upon Americas charitable community. According to the IRS, Americans claimed
deductions for $172.9 billion in charitable contributions in 2008, a 10.6
percent drop from 2007. More recent IRS estimates project that Americans only
claimed $148.6 billion in charitable contributions in 2009, an additional 14
percent drop. It is also worth noting that the IRS data indicates that high
income taxpayers (those earning more than $200,000) contributed $49.6 billion to
charities in 2009.
- When the economy stagnates, nonprofit organizations
and their services are needed the most. Charitable organizations bridge the gap
by serving our communities and those in need when budgetary constraints hinder
state and federal governments from providing similar services.
- Not only does reducing charitable giving harm the
nonprofit sector, but it also hurts the people typically the poor who rely upon
these services. Despite arguments to the contrary, wealthy Americans will not
bear the brunt of any elimination or limitation of the charitable deduction, but
Americas poor will.
- Studies indicate that donors give for many reasons
incentives such as tax deductions being among them. While Americans do not make
charitable gifts only for tax reasons, tax incentives make more and larger gifts
- Recent history and the actions of the federal
government reveal that tax incentives do, in fact, affect charitable giving.
During times of crisis, such as the natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina,
the 2008 Midwest flooding and the 2010 Haiti earthquake, Congress regularly
passes charitable giving incentives to make it easier for Americans to give
donations and other support to nonprofits serving individuals, families and
communities in need. Those incentives resulted in increased levels of resources
to those charities caring for the victims.
- For the sake of the economy and Americas
disadvantaged, we need to encourage all individuals, regardless of income and
wealth, to give more to charitable organizations. Eliminating or limiting the
value of the charitable deduction does the exact opposite and would
fundamentally change a tax structure that has contributed to a cherished
tradition of charitable giving that is unmatched the world over.
- Again, I urge you to oppose any proposal that would eliminate or limit the
value of itemized deductions for charitable contributions.
the following links to get more information about proposed
changes to the charitable deduction.
For more information on
the effect of the "Pease Limitation":