Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 28, 2015

33 Senators to Finance Leaders: Save the Charitable Deduction

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In the letter to Baucus, left, 33 senators call for preserving the charitable deduction. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Fans of the federal income tax deduction for charitable contributions should not fear.

Thirty-three senators, including the expected next chairman of the Finance Committee, Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden, want to ensure it sticks around.

Wyden and Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., led the letter to current Finance Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., and ranking member Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah. The Foreign Relations Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing next week on the nomination of Baucus to be ambassador to China, and there’s every expectation he will see swift confirmation.

In the moves that follow, Wyden is on track to take the Finance gavel. In a sense, Wyden is writing a letter to his future self.

“We write to you to underscore the importance of protecting the full value and scope of the charitable deduction during a comprehensive rewrite of the tax code. The charitable deduction has been an important and effective part of our tax code for almost 100 years,” the senators wrote. “The charitable deduction is unique. It is the only provision that encourages taxpayers to give away a portion of their income for the benefit of others. For this reason, it is not a loophole, but a lifeline for millions of Americans in need.”

Baucus has been working on an overhaul of the country’s outdated and convoluted income tax code, which hasn’t been overhauled since 1986. Last year, he embarked with House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., on a tour seeking feedback on simplifying tax laws. Finance staff has produced a number of white papers on various aspects of the code.

“As you contemplate a comprehensive tax reform bill, we understand that all tax expenditures must be reviewed and considered. However, in this context, we ask that you keep our views on this important tax deduction in mind,” the senators wrote.

Full text of the letter appears here:

Dear Chairman Baucus and Ranking Member Hatch:

We write to you to underscore the importance of protecting the full value and scope of the charitable deduction during a comprehensive rewrite of the tax code. The charitable deduction has been an important and effective part of our tax code for almost 100 years.

The charitable deduction is unique. It is the only provision that encourages taxpayers to give away a portion of their income for the benefit of others. For this reason, it is not a loophole, but a lifeline for millions of Americans in need. Analysis has repeatedly shown that proposals to cut, cap, or limit the charitable deduction could cause charitable donations to decline by billions of dollars annually. Worse yet, weakening the charitable deduction would most hurt the adults and children who receive vital charitable services from organizations like soup kitchens, after-school programs, and medical research projects, just to name a few. In many cases, the government would be required to step in and fund those services now being provided through private generosity. Accordingly, preserving the charitable deduction is also prudent as a matter of broader fiscal policy.

Indeed, charitable giving is an integral part of our society. In 2012 alone, Americans donated more than $300 billion to charitable organizations and itemized giving accounted for nearly $229 billion, according to Giving USA. The organizations that received those donations then leveraged their contributions through volunteers and other in-kind aid to generate $1.1 trillion in jobs and services, employing nearly 10 percent of America’s workforce.

We believe the federal government must affirm its long-standing dedication to encouraging private acts of charity and compassion, especially when our charities and the people they serve are facing so many challenges.

As you contemplate a comprehensive tax reform bill, we understand that all tax expenditures must be reviewed and considered. However, in this context, we ask that you keep our views on this important tax deduction in mind.

Comments (23)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

author email

  1. ExVariable

    Jan. 25, 2014
    4:39 p.m.

    While democratic processes attach value to each individual, collectivism reduces each of us to a vessel for the will of pernicious quacks and their utopian delusions.

  2. Sally

    Jan. 31, 2014
    1:20 p.m.

    I disagree. Churches should be paying taxes, at least on the property they own. My town has been devastated by the home crisis, and the ensuing dearth of revenue. All our taxes could go down if the 60 odd churches in my town of 40,000 actually paid for their property. And I don’t give because of a deduction..I give because it’s the right thing to do. I suppose the Mormons and Catholics would feel differently.

  3. Anonymous

    July 4, 2015
    6:35 a.m.

    It’s arduous to seek out educated people on this matter, but you sound like you recognize what you’re talking about! Thanks

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  4. Anonymous

    July 4, 2015
    5:12 p.m.

    Do you mind if I quote a few of your articles as long as I provide credit and sources back to your website? My blog is in the exact same area of interest as yours and my visitors would certainly benefit from some of the information you provide here. Please let me know if this ok with you. Regards!

    http://www.furtdsolinopv.com/

  5. Anonymous

    July 7, 2015
    10:22 a.m.

    Hello, Neat post. There’s a problem with your site in internet explorer, may test thisK IE nonetheless is the marketplace chief and a good part of folks will pass over your fantastic writing due to this problem.

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  6. Anonymous

    July 7, 2015
    9:15 p.m.

  7. Anonymous

    July 9, 2015
    5:14 a.m.

    Thanks , I have recently been looking for info about this topic for a long time and yours is the best I have came upon till now. However, what concerning the bottom line? Are you positive concerning the supply?

    http://eterna.stanford.edu/web/player/217192/

  8. Anonymous

    July 12, 2015
    1:38 p.m.

    Thank you for any other informative site. The place else could I get that kind of info written in such a perfect approach? I’ve a undertaking that I am simply now running on, and I’ve been at the look out for such information.

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  9. Anonymous

    July 18, 2015
    5:54 a.m.

    I was just looking for this information for some time. After six hours of continuous Googleing, finally I got it in your site. I wonder what is the lack of Google strategy that don’t rank this type of informative websites in top of the list. Generally the top websites are full of garbage.

    https://svn.id.ethz.ch/projects/forums/ticket/149943

  10. Anonymous

    July 21, 2015
    1:55 a.m.

    But wanna input that you have a very decent site, I love the design and style it actually stands out.

    http://lowcostautoquotes.com

  11. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    6:46 a.m.

    I have been absent for a while, but now I remember why I used to love this web site. Thank you, I will try and check back more often. How frequently you update your website?

    http://split.us

  12. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    6:29 p.m.

    I like your writing style genuinely loving this web site.

    https://bestplumbers.com

  13. Anonymous

    July 28, 2015
    5:41 a.m.

    I’ve been browsing on-line more than 3 hours nowadays, but I never found any attention-grabbing article like yours. It is pretty price sufficient for me. In my opinion, if all web owners and bloggers made excellent content as you did, the web will be a lot more useful than ever before.

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  14. Anonymous

    July 30, 2015
    8:27 p.m.

    Thank you for every other great post. The place else may anybody get that type of information in such an ideal approach of writing? I’ve a presentation next week, and I am on the search for such info.

    http://brookereviews.com/product/diabetes-destroyer-review-david-andrews-guaranteed-natural-treatment-with-super-fast-result/

  15. Anonymous

    July 31, 2015
    8:22 a.m.

    Greetings from Colorado! I’m bored to tears at work so I decided to check out your website on my iphone during lunch break. I love the information you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m surprised at how fast your blog loaded on my mobile .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, wonderful blog!

    http://domweselnywarszawa.eu/

  16. Anonymous

    Aug. 6, 2015
    9:42 a.m.

    I couldn’t resist commenting

    http://quotesautoinsurance.org

  17. Anonymous

    Aug. 7, 2015
    6:31 a.m.

    he blog was how do i say it… relevant, finally something that helped me. Thanks

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  18. Anonymous

    Aug. 9, 2015
    9:09 p.m.

    I got what you intend, appreciate it for posting.Woh I am happy to find this website through google. “Food is the most primitive form of comfort.” by Sheila Graham.

    http://brookereviews.com/product/0-6-pack-abs-review-tyler-bramlett-and-dr-vegher-does-0-6-pack-abs-really-work-or-just-a-scam/

  19. Anonymous

    Aug. 12, 2015
    4:02 p.m.

    I?¦m no longer sure where you’re getting your information, however great topic. I needs to spend some time finding out more or figuring out more. Thank you for fantastic information I was searching for this info for my mission.

    http://topcheapinsurance.com/companies-insurance-united-states.html

  20. Anonymous

    Aug. 18, 2015
    12:15 a.m.

    Hi , I do believe this is an excellent blog. I stumbled upon it on Yahoo , i will come back once again. Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and help other people.

    http://myfirstworld.com/JohnnyLawrence

  21. Anonymous

    Aug. 19, 2015
    7:26 a.m.

    I’m not that much of a internet reader to be honest but your sites really nice, keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back later on. Cheers

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  22. Anonymous

    Aug. 19, 2015
    11:04 a.m.

    Hey there! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any trouble with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing months of hard work due to no back up. Do you have any methods to stop hackers?

    http://swietymikolaj.bloggg.pl/

  23. Anonymous

    Aug. 26, 2015
    3:46 a.m.

    I have recently started a web site, the info you provide on this website has helped me tremendously. Thank you for all of your time & work. “Show me the man who keeps his house in hand, He’s fit for public authority.” by Sophocles.

    http://topcheapinsurance.com/travelers-home-and-auto-insurance.html

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...