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Congress Can Help Reverse the Freefall of Charitable Donations

Bloomberg Tax

For decades, the share of Americans donating to charity has declined. In this opinion editorial, Tax Member Jorge Castro and Sara Barba of Integer LLC write that to counter this trend, federal legislators should enact a universal charitable tax deduction to encourage more charitable giving. Tax incentives are designed to reward behavior that Congress deems valuable to society, such as philanthropy. However, the tax code only allows taxpayers to deduct charitable contributions if they itemize their deductions, and after recent tax law changes increased the standard deduction for single and joint filers, today fewer taxpayers do so. The authors show that a universal charitable deduction could help reverse this decades-long decline in giving, allowing a broader number of taxpayers to claim a charitable tax deduction.