Proposed Legislation Would Broaden Availability of Charitable Deductions

Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP

On October 5, Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC) introduced the Universal Charitable Giving Act of 2017 (H.R. 3988), which would allow individuals who do not itemize their deductions to receive income tax deductions for charitable contributions.  Currently, only individuals who itemize their deductions can avail themselves of the charitable deduction. Individuals would be able to claim “above-the-line” deductions for charitable contributions, subject to a cap of one-third of the standard deduction (about $2,100 for individuals and $4,200 for married couples). The bill would not change the availability of the charitable deduction as it exists under current law.

Walker’s bill has been introduced amidst ongoing discussions about tax reform. In particular, it follows the Republican tax framework released last month that called for retaining the itemized deduction for charitable contributions, but which sought to nearly double the standard deduction.

We will continue to update this space with information regarding any new developments on this and other aspects of potential tax reform.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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