By Laura Walling, Senior Director of Government Affairs, Advocacy & Legislative Affairs, Goodwill Industries International
This past Tuesday, December 3 marked Giving Tuesday, a day when American generosity is on full display. Early reports indicate that nonprofits raised nearly $2 billion. Millions of Americans display their generosity by giving to organizations providing meals, housing, disaster relief, educational opportunities and other vital services. Funds on
Giving Tuesday and throughout the holiday season are critical to the wide array of services charities provide as they work to strengthen individuals, families and our communities.
Americans give primarily to make a positive difference in people’s lives, help those in need and support important causes. Yet, charitable giving has been declining. Tax incentives like the charitable deduction encourage Americans to give more. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act doubled the standard deduction, thereby eliminating the need for many people to itemize their tax return and removing a major incentive to give to charity. According to the Tax Policy Center, the number of filers itemizing their returns fell from 46 million to 19 million. If you don’t itemize, you can’t take the charitable deduction. Currently, only 10 percent of Americans receive the benefit and incentive of deducting charitable gifts from their income at tax time. We think it should be 100 percent.
This is why Goodwill Industries International (GII), along with the Charitable Giving Coalition, strongly support legislation that would provide a charitable giving incentive to all Americans. A universal charitable deduction will democratize giving by encouraging all American taxpayers – regardless of income – to give to charity.
Current universal charitable deduction bills include:
• H.R. 1260 introduced by Ways and Means Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL);
• H.R. 651 (Charitable Giving Tax Deduction Act), introduced by Reps. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) and Chris Smith (R-NJ); and
• H.R. 5293 Universal Charitable Giving Act, introduced by Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC).
These three bills would incentivize all Americans to give more to charity.
Goodwill expresses our gratitude to those who have introduced these bills and the bipartisan group of lawmakers who have supported at least one of the measures:
Rep. Cynthia Axne [D-IA]
Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester [D-DE]
Rep. Andre Carson [D-IN]
Rep. Steve Cohen [D-TN]
Rep. John Curtis [R-UT]
Rep. Jeff Duncan [R-SC]
Rep. Anna Eschoo [D-CA]
Rep. Matt Gaetz [R-FL]
Rep. Vincente Gonzalez [D-TX]
Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton [D-DC]
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee [D-TX]
Rep. Mike Johnson [R-LA]
Rep. Ann Kuster [D-NH]
Rep. Tom Malinowski [D-NJ]
Rep. Mark Meadows [R-NC]
Rep. Alexander Mooney [R-WV]
Rep. Joe Neguse [D-CO]
Rep. Ilhan Omar [D-MN]
Rep. Bill Posey [R-FL]
Rep. Guy Reschenthaler [R-PA]
Rep. Adam Schiff [D-CA]
Rep. Ross Spano [R-FL]
Rep. Elise Stefanik [R-NY]
Rep. Scott Tipton [R-CO]
Rep. Michael Turner [R-OH]
Rep. Jefferson Van Drew [D-NJ]
Goodwill Industries International urges Congress to enact a universal charitable deduction so that Americans will give more to support the vital work of charities, not just on Giving Tuesday, but every day.
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