New bill would give taxpayers maximum flexibility to write off charitable contributionsSmith Honored for His Legislation to Fix Tax Law, Protect Charitable Organizations
The Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) today named Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) a Congressional Champion, citing, among other things, Smith’s legislation to protect taxpayers and repeal provisions in the 2017 tax law that will undermine charitable giving, especially by low-and-middle income taxpayers.
Members from the New Jersey YMCA State Alliance and other NJ branches were on hand at the Y’s Champions Breakfast on Capitol Hill as Smith received the award and discussed his Charitable Giving Tax Deduction Act, HR 651.
“Charitable organizations are a bedrock of our society, providing critical services every day often without public fanfare,” Smith said. “They feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, and provide health care, education, job training and a myriad of other services to those in need. We can’t see them left behind by a flaw in the tax code. My legislation would help ensure this doesn’t happen.”
Smith commended the YMCA and other groups noting that citizens who may not be able to volunteer want to help through donations.
“I am working hard to ensure that charitable organizations like the YMCA can continue the humanitarian work they do and at the same time protect the taxpayers—especially small donors—who want to help financially but may be forced to forgo that choice because of changes in the law,” Smith said. “My legislation would remedy this problem by restoring the full charitable tax deduction, making it universal and across-the-board, allowing any taxpayer who donates to a worthy cause to deduct their charitable donations.”
As introduced, Smith’s bill remedies a problem created by the 2017 tax law that doubles the standard deduction but now prohibits filers who take the standard deduction from claiming any deductions for charitable donations. Smith’s legislation would give taxpayers maximum flexibility, allowing them to claim their charitable donations whether they take the standard deduction or itemize. Smith said his bill “restores a tax incentive that has sustained many charitable organizations and the work they do for years.”
Under the previous tax code, approximately 30 percent of tax filers itemized their deductions, but the new tax code is expected to reduce the percentage of filers who itemize their taxes—and therefore utilize the charitable deduction—to roughly 10 percent.
Smith’s new legislation is supported by a consortium of charitable and faith-based groups, including the YMCA, the New Jersey Catholic Conference, the Faith & Giving Coalition, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), United Way Worldwide, and Independent Sector.