Candidates Urged to Preserve Charitable Deduction
A coalition of nonprofits is asking the presidential contenders not to discourage charitable giving by limiting tax incentives.
A broad cross-section of nonprofit organizations, including ASAE, last week urged both presidential candidates to reconsider their proposals to cap the itemized deduction for charitable contributions.
President Obama has supported capping all itemized deductions at 28 percent for upper-income earners, and Republican candidate Mitt Romney has suggested capping the deduction that taxpayers can claim at anywhere from $17,000 to $50,000.
In letters sent to both candidates this week, ASAE and a coalition of other nonprofit organizations said the charitable deduction is unique in that it “rewards a selfless act” and encourages taxpayers to give more to charities than they would otherwise have given.
“People give to worthwhile causes for many reasons—incentives such as tax deductions being among them,” the letters said. “Tax incentives make more and larger gifts possible. The federal government has acknowledged this trend. During times of crisis, such as 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 support to nonprofits serving individuals, families, and communities in need.”
Charity-provided services are critical as budgetary constraints continue to hinder states and the federal government from serving those most in need, the letters said. According to the Nonprofit Finance Fund, 85 percent of nonprofits experienced higher demand for their services in 2011 and at least 70 percent have seen increased demand since 2008.