Although the sweeping tax overhaul passed last year substantially changed the treatment of itemized deductions at the individual level, it left the charitable deduction in place. However, the legislation did not enact a universal charitable deduction that many in the philanthropic world had been pushing for.
On Thursday, Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., introduced the Charitable Giving Tax Deduction Act, which would allow all taxpayers the option to write off donations to charity on their taxes, whether or not they choose to itemize. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, co-sponsored the bill.
Under Smith’s legislation, the amount of charitable donations would not be capped.
“This bipartisan bill not only encourages us to help our fellow neighbors, but it also makes sure than taxpayers can receive their due deduction for charitable giving if they choose not to itemize,” Cuellar said in a statement.
“A true universal deduction is critical to correcting the impact of last year’s tax legislation,” Vikki Spruill, president and chief executive of the Council on Foundations, said in a joint statement with Independent Sector following the bill’s introduction.