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Tim Delaney on the Charitable Deduction and Tax Reform Framework

Posted on: Oct 23, 2017

In a recent op-ed in The Hill, president and CEO of the National Council of Nonprofits Tim Delaney likened the GOP's framework for tax reform to a magic trick. "Like a magician at a birthday party," he wrote, "their tax reform framework uses distraction to achieve a sleight of hand trick. The magician’s left hand swirls a colorful scarf to misdirect attention to the framework’s boast that it “retains” the tax incentive for charitable deductions. Meanwhile, the magician’s right hand stealthily makes billions of dollars in charitable donations disappear by effectively eliminating the charitable giving incentive for all but the wealthiest."

Dalaney notes that the proposed lack of a financal incentive for charitable giving will deeply hurt nonprofit organizations across the country. He points to studies that show a strong correlation between tax incentives and charitable giving, and that removing the incentive to itemize taxes by doubling the standard deduction will decrease the number of people who give to charities. In light of these facts, Mr. Dalaney draws attention to the Universal Charitable Giving Act of 2017, introduced recently by Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.). The Universal Charitable Giving Act would give all taxpayers the opportunity to take the charitable deduction, regardless of whether they itemize their taxes or not. This, Dalaney argues, is the better way to celebrate 100th birthday of the federal tax deduction for charitable giving.

Write a letter to your representative and ask them to consider the Universal Charitable Deduction here.

Read more on tax reform and charitable giving from the Arts Action Fund here, and read Mr. Dalaney's full op-ed here.