HOME > NEWSROOM > ARTICLES > Charitable Deduction and the Budget

Charitable Deduction and the Budget

The income tax deduction for charitable giving has been an important element of budget debates in Washington over the last few weeks. Most recently, the President’s Fiscal Year 2014 Budget proposed to limit the value of the charitable tax deduction for high income donors. Specifically, the White House would cap the value of itemized deductions at the 28 percent tax rate, which would result in those donors in the 33, 35, and newly created 39.6 percent income tax brackets being taxed more on the money they give away to charitable causes.

NRB President & CEO Dr. Frank Wright expressed disappointment and alarm in this proposal. “The charitable deduction is a century-old proven success,” he said. “Diminishing its value would essentially commandeer voluntary donation money away from important ministries and into federal coffers, ultimately to the detriment of the communities those ministries serve.”

Similarly, in response to the President’s references to unhelpful loopholes, the Charitable Giving Coalition declared, “The charitable deduction is not a loophole, it’s a lifeline. It serves an invaluable economic purpose, supporting worthy causes and the nonprofit sector…. The charitable deduction is different than other itemized deductions because it encourages individuals to give away a portion of their income to benefit others, not themselves. It rewards a selfless act and allows a way for donors to give more than they otherwise would have.”

In a contrary move, two key Republican Senators spoke out for the charitable deduction in the Senate’s earlier FY2014 Budget debate. Senator John Thune (R-SD) and Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) introduced an amendment intended to prevent the charitable deduction from being diminished for the purpose of increasing government spending. Noting a study indicating that the President’s proposed cap could decrease charitable giving by $9.4 billion annually, Senator Thune declared, “We ought to be exploring new options to expand charitable giving rather than limiting the charitable donations in order to fund higher levels of government spending.” Senator Blunt added, “Senator Thune mentioned $9 billion. Now, $9 billion of $300 billion, does that sound like a lot? It sounds like a lot to the kid who got the last scholarship. It sounds like a lot for the park that doesn’t get the new playground equipment because the local Kiwanis club could not get to their goal so they could help their community…. This is a part of who we are that we don’t want to discourage. There is a reason Americans give more generously to charitable causes than anybody else in the world. Let’s not walk away from that.”

     • Find the President’s Fiscal Year 2014 Budget.
     • Watch Senator Thune and Senator Blunt speak up for the charitable deduction, or read
       the transcript.

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations 

Published: April 12, 2013

Latest News

Heritage Analyst Says ‘Cultural Cronyism’ Is Harming Nation

America’s cultural health is declining in most categories, although societal and governmental work has made a difference in a few cases, a think tank fellow told Christian media and ministry professionals Thursday.

Alistair Begg to Christian Broadcasters: Be Faithful in Proclaiming the Story

Christ-followers must “be bold, be clear, and be about the business,” Alistair Begg told a gathering of Christian media and ministry professionals Wednesday, saying it is fruitless to curse the darkness or to embrace it.

Mariam Ibraheem Receives NRB President’s Award for Her Enduring Faith in Christ

Ibraheem, who spent six months in a prison in Sudan because she refused to renounce Christ, was at the National Religious Broadcasters’ 2015 International Christian Media Convention to be recognized for her stalwart faith.

NRB Hosts Second Annual Digital Media Summit

Speaking at the summit were Guy Kawasaki, Justin Wise, Ed Stetzer, and Lord Robert Edmiston. In addition, Eric Metaxas moderated a panel featuring Katie Harbath, Casey Short, and Shalini Trehan.

Dennis Rainey Highlights 7 Nonnegotiables for Christians

FamilyLife President Dennis Rainey offered “seven nonnegotiables” for Christians on the spiritual battlefield during the Media Excellence Dinner on February 25 at the NRB 2015 International Christian Media Convention.

New FRC/NRB Survey Finds Support for Traditional Marriage

Contrary to the narrative that most Americans have accepted the “inevitability” of same-sex marriage, a new survey released February 24 finds broad support for traditional marriage and protection of those who hold such views.

America on Verge of Collapse, Says Robert Jeffress at NRB15

America will soon collapse from “explosive” decisions made over the last 50 years that have undermined the nation, Dallas pastor Robert Jeffress told Christian media and ministry professionals at the National Religious Broadcasters' International Christian Media Convention.

Dr. Billy Kim: Christians Must Be Faithful in Prayer and Proclaiming Christ

Dr. Billy Kim, who has been called the Billy Graham of Asia, reminded Christian media and ministry professionals at the National Religious Broadcasters’ annual convention that they are co-laborers for Christ.

Steve Forbes Tells Christian Media Leaders Free Market System is Moral

The free market system is moral because those who operate businesses within it “succeed by meeting the needs of other people,” Steve Forbes told attendees February 24 at the National Religious Broadcasters’ International Christian Media Convention.

Roma Downey, Mark Burnett Preview ‘A.D. The Bible Continues’ at NRB15

If Roma Downey and Mark Burnett were strangers to any members of the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) in 2012, their 10-part production of The Bible, which aired on the History Channel in 2013, appears to have earned them a strong following among the broadcasters today.

More News