A new bill in Congress would allow all American taxpayers to take a charitable deduction regardless of whether they itemize their deductions, the reports.
The "above-the-line" or "universal" deduction, which would not include a cap, was included in a bill, the Charitable Giving Tax Deduction Act, introduced in the House last week by Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Henry Cuellar (D-TX). Although the idea of an above-the-line deduction has been around for years, the version that was initially included in the 2017 tax bill included a cap of $4,000 for individuals and $8,000 for couples. At the time, nonprofit leaders expressed concerns that couples taking the standard deduction would give more than $8,000, and the provision was not included in the bill that passed the House.
According to Steve Taylor, senior vice president and counsel for public policy at , the new bill is just what nonprofits were looking for, but its passage, despite bipartisan support, is uncertain. "It is going to take a huge push and big effort by the sector to get this legislation to move," Taylor told the Chronicle. "Sometimes it takes a year or two to get legislation enacted. The number one most important thing that local charities can do is ask their representative to sign on as a co-sponsor of the bill."