It’s Fix the Tax Code Friday! Charitable deductions have been limited to taxpayers who itemize their deductions rather than claim the standard deduction. With the doubling of the standard deduction under the Taxpayers Cuts and Jobs Act, fewer taxpayers itemize their deduction. That means that fewer taxpayers have a tax incentive to make a charitable donation.
Earlier this year, I reported that the total number of taxpayers claiming the charitable donation deduction has dropped. For some organizations, that can – but does not necessarily – result in a dip in donations.
Some taxpayers have called for the deduction to be extended to apply to all taxpayers in the form of an above-the-line deduction (meaning that you don’t have to itemize to claim the deduction). Others argue that charitable donations should be made out of generosity alone and that tax incentives aren’t necessary.
That leads to this week’s question:
Should Congress extend the deduction for charitable donations to non-itemizers, and make it an above-the-line deduction (like the student loan interest deduction)?