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AFP Talking Points: The GOP Tax Reform Framework

October 12, 2017

(Use these points in your comments to the Framework Survey here.)

  • From the Framework, I am pleased that The White House draws a connection between a strong civil society and vibrant charitable giving. 
  • It’s good to see that leaders in Congress have expressed interest in creating more giving for charities across the U.S.
  • I also agree with several of the stated purposes of the Framework—such as increasing the economy and making the tax code simpler and fairer.
  • However, I’m concerned that the proposals in the Framework will lead to a decrease, not increase, in charitable giving.
  • Doubling the standard deduction means that less people will itemize their taxes. In fact, the number of people itemizing would drop by 30 million or so. That’s critical, because itemizers account for 82 percent of all giving!
  • Research I’ve seen estimates that the decrease in the number of itemizers would lead to an annual drop in charitable giving of almost $13 billion EVERY YEAR, or six percent of overall individual giving!
  • ((Include a sentence or two on what a six percent cut in funding would mean to your organization.))
  • I hope that Congress and the White House will consider other proposals to help charities in the face of this huge reduction in giving.
  • One proposal would be to create a universal charitable deduction. A deduction available to all taxpayers is fair, simple and would help encourage additional giving to charities.
  • It is estimated that enacting a charitable universal deduction in the Tax Reform Framework would overcome the loss in giving from the increased standard deduction and result in additional charitable giving of almost $5 billion every year.
  • Please support a universal charitable deduction in your tax Framework. Without it, the Framework cannot live up to its ideal of being fairer and helping all Americans, especially those that depends on the services of charities across the country.