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tax time

Senate group proposes legislation to expand tax deductions for charitable giving

This policy would help ensure that more people are able to give and help nonprofits,’ a top JFNA official told JI

UNITED STATES - JUNE 09: Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., asks a question during the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing titled Evaluating the Federal Governments Procurement and Distribution Strategies in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, in Dirksen Building on Tuesday, June 9, 2020. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

A group of 11 senators introduced legislation yesterday that aims to expand tax deductions for charitable giving, with the goal of incentivizing higher levels of giving to charitable organizations, houses of worship and religious organizations.

The Charitable Act would allow taxpayers who choose not to itemize their deductions to receive an additional tax deduction of up to one-third of the standard deduction for non-itemizers (the base-rate tax deduction available to taxpayers who do not itemize their deductions). This would translate to up to a $4,500 deduction for individual filers and $9,000 for married couples filing jointly in 2023.

A similar provision was part of the CARES Act, a COVID-19 response bill passed in 2020, but it has since lapsed.

The Charitable Act is sponsored by Sens. James Lankford (R-OK), Chris Coons (D-DE), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Gary Peters (D-MI), Tim Scott (R-SC) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH).

“Our families, our churches, and other nonprofits are the first and most important safety net for the most vulnerable in our communities,” Lankford said in a statement. “As Oklahomans and Americans donate their time, money, and resources to our nation’s nonprofits so they can serve people, they should be able to deduct more from their federal taxes as an incentive to financially support nonprofits since these services are often in place of government benefits.”

Coons said that he is “proud to have worked on the Charitable Act that will expand and extend the deductions Americans can claim to encourage even more Americans to embrace the civic virtue of charitable giving.”

A range of charitable organizations are supporting the legislation, including the Jewish Federations of North America. 

“When disaster strikes, when tragedy hits, when crises befall us, everyday Americans want to step up and lend a hand, often by supporting the nonprofit sector’s vital work,” JFNA’s senior vice president for public affairs, Elana Broitman, told JI. “This policy would help ensure that more people are able to give and help nonprofits do what they do best: serve their communities.”

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