Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Healthcare Reform Resurrects the Debate Over Charitable Deduction Limits

The Chronicle of Philanthropy reported Wednesday, September 23, 2009, that Senator Max Baucus, the Senate Finance Committee chairman, joined by other senators, included a 35 percent cap on charitable deductions made by wealthy taxpayers (individuals reporting $200,000 or more and families reporting $250,000 or more) as part of his health-care bill.  While less than President Obama's cap of 28 percent, the cap is of concern to nonprofit leaders.  They are concerned that, when tax rates on wealthy taxpayers rise in 2011 from 33/35 percent to 36/39.6 percent, donations will decline in an already tough economic climate.  For the full story, please see the story excerpt below and follow the link.

Some Senate Finance Committee members have resurrected the idea of limiting tax breaks for charitable donations as a way to raise money to overhaul the health-care system.

In amendments proposed to the health-care bill unveiled last week by Sen. Max Baucus, the committee chairman, a handful of senators have proposed limiting to 35 percent the tax break that wealthy people can get for their itemized deductions, including gifts to charity.

That is less drastic than the 28-percent limit proposed by President Obama. But a coalition of nonprofit leaders this week sent a letter to Mr. Baucus opposing the amendments, saying they would create a disincentive for charity’s biggest donors during a “tough charitable giving environment.”

“Charitable organizations are dealing with enormous financial challenges stemming from the economic downturn,” says the September 21 letter, which was signed by representatives of 14 groups including the American Association of Museums, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, the Council on Foundations, Operation Smile, and United Jewish Communities.

For the full story, please click here.



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