Publications & Products
June 2017
Volume 15 Issue 6

U.S. Federal Relations News June 2017

CASE Announces Support for Universal Charitable Deduction

U.S. Senators Introduce CHARITY Act


CASE Announces Support for Universal Charitable Deduction

On May 22, CASE announced support for a universal charitable deduction, a proposal that would both preserve the value of the current charitable deduction while allowing all taxpayers to benefit from the current charitable deduction.

Currently, the charitable tax deduction is only available to the roughly 30 percent of U.S. taxpayers who itemize their tax return. A universal charitable deduction would allow all taxpayers to benefit from the deduction by allowing taxpayers to subtract charitable gifts from their income before they determine whether to take the standard deduction or itemize their returns.

A recent study commissioned by Independent Sector and conducted by Indiana University's Lilly Family School of Philanthropy found tax reform legislation that lowers tax rates and doubles the standard deduction would lead to a $13.1 billion decline in charitable giving. The study also found that a charitable deduction moved "above-the-line" and made available to all taxpayers as part of tax reform would lead to a $4.8 billion increase in giving.

In a statement, CASE President and CEO Sue Cunningham said: "CASE strongly believes that U.S. tax policy should encourage everyone, regardless of their income, to make philanthropic gifts to colleges, universities, independent schools and other charities. As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the charitable deduction, we urge President Trump and Congress to expand this important giving incentive to everyone by enacting a universal charitable deduction."

Stay informed on the latest tax reform developments by joining the CASE Advocacy Network.


U.S. Senators Introduce CHARITY Act

U.S. Senator John Thune (R-S.D.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.), both members of the Senate Finance Committee, have introduced the Charities Helping Americans Regularly Throughout the Year (CHARITY) Act of 2017 (S. 1343), a bill designed to encourage charitable giving and streamline rules related to certain tax-exempt organizations.

The bill includes:

  • An understanding of the Senate that promoting charitable giving should be a goal of tax reform and that the full scope and value of the charitable deduction should not be diminished.
  • A requirement that all tax-exempt organizations file their Form 990 electronically
  • Expansion of the current law IRA charitable rollover to include gifts to donor-advised funds
  • Simplification of the private foundation excise tax on net investment income to a single rate of 1 percent.

A summary of the S. 1343 is available on Sen. Thune's website. Sens. Pat Roberts R-Kan. and Ron Wyden D-Ore. are co-sponsors of the bill.