A bill has been introduced in Congress that would allow taxpayers to use the charitable deduction whether or not they itemize on their taxes. The bipartisan bill has been referred to the House Ways and Means Committee.
If passed, the bill could counter a predicted decline in contributions to charity this year. The decline is expected because the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed late last year doubled the standard deduction and will dramatically decrease the number of itemizers. Since most individuals who give to charity itemize on their taxes, the fear is that a reduction in charitable contributions will result.
The bill, H.R. 5771, was introduced in May by lead sponsor Christopher Smith, a Republican from New Jersey. It would make all charitable deductions “above the line,” meaning they apply whether or not a taxpayer itemizes. The bill does not have any cap on the amount of the charitable deduction.
“Americans have been generous patrons of charitable causes, and we want to ensure that everyone has the support they need to continue their generosity to charitable and philanthropic causes,” Smith said in announcing the bill.
You can track the status of the legislation here.
If you would like to contact your Congressional representatives about the bill, you can find their contact information here.