Study Shows How Changes to the Tax Code Could Affect Giving

By: Suzanne Perry

A new Congressional Budget Office study is looking into how changes in the way donors calculate their tax deductions for charitable donations would affect giving—and the federal budget.

The study examines options such as offering deductions to those who don’t itemize their tax returns, converting tax deductions for gifts into tax credits, and offering tax breaks only to people who donate a minimum amount of money.

It found, for example, that if all taxpayers had been allowed to claim deductions for charitable contributions in 2006, rather than just those who itemized their expenses, charities would have received $2-billion more in gifts. The government, meanwhile, would have lost $5.2-billion due to the loss of tax income associated with the deductions. (Individuals donated $203-billion to charity in 2006, the report says.)

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