The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act significantly increased the standard deduction for individual taxpayers and also added new limitations and restrictions on itemized deductions. As a result, it is now estimated that only 10 percent of American individual taxpayers itemize deductions. (Approximately 25 to 30 percent of taxpayers itemized under prior tax law.) And that means that only about 10 percent of American taxpayers get any tax benefit in connection with their charitable giving. That reality is acting as a negative force on charitable giving in the U.S., and it will continue to do so unless a change is made in federal tax law.
Various efforts have been made to remedy this drag on charitable giving. New legislation being filed in Congress presents a new opportunity to improve the situation. The following is an update from Brian Walsh with Faith & Giving Coalition. We encourage our clients and friends to let their members of Congress know that this is an important issue that directly impacts charitable giving in America.
We have confirmed that Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC-6) plans to reintroduce his Universal Charitable Giving Act (UCGA) on December 3, which is Giving Tuesday.
Would you please consider having your organization send a brief letter to Rep. Walker or issue a short statement in support of the UCGA?
Linked here is a document with further background on the UCGA as well as guidance and talking points for your statements and letters.
As you recall from the bill in the last Congress, the UCGA would create a charitable deduction to provide non-itemizers the same sort of benefits and incentives for their charitable gifts as the current tax code provides to itemizers.
Rep. Walker’s reintroduction of the UCGA is an important step forward in this Congress. Along with buttressing the two other bills introduced this year (H.R. 651 and H.R. 1260), it underscores that the Faith & Giving Coalition and its charitable-sector allies continue to make steady progress toward enacting universal charitable deduction legislation.