WASHINGTON, D.C.— The National Catholic Development Conference (NCDC) released the following statement upon the release of the House Republican tax reform bill, H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
“For 100 years, the Charitable Tax Deduction has been a landmark institution that exemplifies the charitable spirit of Americans. Protecting this deduction and expanding it to the greatest number of people possible encourages charitable giving by all socioeconomic levels. Tax reform should protect and expand this deduction to recognize the impact of charitable gifts, regardless of size, to support those most vulnerable in American society and worldwide,” said Sr. Georgette Lehmuth, OSF, President/CEO of NCDC.
While the current tax reform bill simplifies the federal tax structure by reducing the number of itemizers, it has the unintended consequence of removing the tax incentive for an estimated $95 billion in annual charitable giving. It is forecasted this could reduce giving up to $13 billion annually.
One potential protection against this reduction is an amendment that would expand the charitable deduction to all Americans. Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC) has authored H.R. 3988, the Universal Charitable Giving Act of 2017, which would permit all Americans to take a charitable deduction, even those who do not itemize and opt for a standard deduction. It would allow non-itemizers to deduct charitable contributions up to one-third of the amount of the standard deduction. The legislation also preserves the current charitable deduction for those who itemize.
“The Universal Charitable Giving Act reflects the importance of the charitable deduction in encouraging support of our missions. We support the protection of charitable giving incentives and strongly encourage the Ways and Means Committee to include this provision in tax reform,” said Sr. Georgette Lehmuth, OSF.