Significant Senate Support for Charitable Deduction

Nearly a third of the U.S. Senate recently affirmed their strong support for the charitable tax deduction. Led by Senators John Thune (R-SD) and Ron Wyden (D-OR), these 33 Senators sent a letter to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Orrin Hatch (R-UT) declaring “the importance of protecting the full value and scope of the charitable deduction during a comprehensive rewrite of the tax code.” Noting its effectiveness in tax law for nearly 100 years, they highlighted the charitable deduction's uniqueness in that “It is the only provision that encourages taxpayers to give away a portion of their income for the benefit of others. For this reason, it is not a loophole, but a lifeline for millions of Americans in need.”

NRB has been a vocal advocate for the charitable tax deduction. Notably, following statements last year by Senators Baucus and Hatch that they would be taking a “blank slate” approach to comprehensive tax reform, NRB sent letters to all the members of the Senate Finance Committee and declared, “Many of our members are non-profit organizations that not only powerfully illuminate public needs, but directly work to help the hungry, hurting, addicted, and vulnerable in the United States and abroad. These organizations rely on charitable giving to serve their communities effectively, and any restriction of the charitable deduction could be devastating to their efforts.”

On a related note, President Obama has nominated Senator Baucus to be U.S. Ambassador to China.  Following the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s review of this nomination in a hearing next week, the Senate may quickly move to a confirmation vote. Senator Wyden is then expected to take the gavel as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee.

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations

Published: January 31, 2014