Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Target: Charitable Deduction?

Yesterday, Representative Paul Ryan presented the House Republican’s budget proposal for FY 2013. Of note for charities, the tax section of the Ryan budget proposal places great emphasis on expanding the tax base bygetting rid of distortions, loopholes and preferences that divert economic resources from their most efficient uses,” noting that “these tax preferences are disproportionately used by upper-income individuals…”. It, however, gives no details regarding which specific "distortions, loopholes and preferences” that might encompass – including, for example, the charitable deduction available only to Schedule A filers.

As this blog discussed in February, a proposal to limit the charitable deduction for upper income taxpayers has been part of the Obama administration’s budget in the past, much to the great consternation of the charitable community. The burning question is whether the Ryan proposal's general tax discussion hints on actual common ground between the Administration and House Republicans on this issue? I’m jaded enough to think the answer is no … it may be that the charitable community will benefit in this instance from the fact that common ground doesn’t appear to exist anywhere in D.C. these days.


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