Tax Reform Doesn’t Have to Threaten Charitable Giving

Tax Reform Doesn’t Have to Threaten Charitable Giving

By Dr. Ted Baehr, Publisher

Over the last couple months, several news items have reported on Congressional plans for tax reform. Like apple pie, most people want tax reform, but the proposal now in Congress could reduce charitable donations by over $13 billion annually. Why would MOVIEGUIDE® do an article on this? Because we are a 501(c)3 not-for-profit charity.

Tax reform is important, and it can be structured to boost charitable giving rather than reduce charitable giving. Boosting charitable giving would do what most Christians want:  Move some of the control of the social welfare system out of government and into ministries, who are best able to deal with specific problems, whether it is the Salvation Army, denominations or nonprofits like MOVIEGUIDE®.

The current tax reform in Congress would reduce the number of taxpayers who itemize from 33 percent to 5 percent. Lowering the top marginal tax rate for individuals from 39.6% to 35% would further reduce the tax incentive to give.

The Indiana University Lilly School of Philanthropy has found these two changes would reduce charitable by a whopping $13.1. Fortunately, the research also shows Congress could more than offset this huge loss simply by extending the benefits of the charitable deduction to all taxpayers, itemizers and non-itemizers.

A “universal charitable deduction” would increase charitable giving by $5 billion. It would also allow any taxpayer to claim a charitable deduction whether they itemize or take the standard deduction. It would simplify the tax code and promote fairness and good government.

MOVIEGUIDE® depends on your nonprofit tax-deductible donations. Like you, we want tax reform. Please tell your family, friends and other that tax reform must include protections for charitable giving and not be a vehicle for more centralized government power.

For more information, please go to:

An op-ed in Philanthropy Daily: https://www.philanthropydaily.com/gop-tax-plans-pose-13-billion-threat-to-charitable-giving-will-lawmakers-listen

An op-ed in Philanthropy Daily:  https://www.philanthropydaily.com/congress-dont-tax-giving-charity-services-help-people-while-saving-government-costs/

A Wall Street Journal article: https://www.wsj.com/articles/charities-coax-lawmakers-to-rethink-tax-plan-1502024400 

A press release from the Charitable Giving Coalition:  http://protectgiving.org/release/cgc-congress-can-enact-a-tax-provision-that-would-expand-charitable-giving/  (The Faith & Giving Coalition is a member of the Charitable Giving Coalition’s leadership team.)