21 April 2016

ACR Responds to Editorial on Tax Reform, Charitable Deduction

The Washington Post published Wednesday a letter from Joanne Florino, senior vice president for public policy at The Philanthropy Roundtable, responding to an editorial written by Robert J. Samuelson that advocated for eliminating the charitable deduction. The full text of Florino’s letter is below and it can also be read by clicking here:

Robert J. Samuelson advocated eliminating most tax preferences, referring to them as “loopholes” or “subsidies,” from the tax code and included the charitable deduction. He expressed skepticism this would happen because “churches and colleges would protest.” Millions of human service, veterans, disability, social justice, family, environmental, education, health and arts charities throughout the country would join that protest.

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), the ranking minority-party member of the Finance Committee, understand that tax reform and preserving the charitable deduction are not mutually exclusive. In the Charity Act, introduced April 6, they led by writing that “encouraging charitable giving should be a goal of tax reform; and Congress should ensure that the value and scope of the deduction for charitable contributions is not diminished during a comprehensive rewrite of the tax code.”

The charitable deduction is neither a subsidy nor a loophole for the wealthy. It is a lifeline for all Americans who value and depend on charitable services.