Expanding Incentives for Charitable Giving


Giving to charity is a meaningful and rewarding way to build and strengthen community. Studies indicate that in addition to the benefit of knowing that their donations help support the important work of charitable institution and programs, donors feel better about themselves when they are able to help others through charitable donations.

Our community is fortunate to have a wide range of nonprofit institutions that serve our community in a variety of meaningful ways, including as a local safety net for our most vulnerable. Our local charities provide social, cultural, educational and religious support for members of our community and are able to provide neighborhoods and families with lifesaving support and assistance in situations where government benefits may not be available or are difficult to access. In addition, many of our local institutions have links to national and international organizations that are poised to respond to a wide range of needs and crises that develop all over the world.

The more we can incentivize charitable giving, the better our world will be. It is for that reason that we were pleased to learn last week of the bipartisan Charitable Act introduced by 11 U.S. senators. The legislation seeks to expand tax deductions for charitable giving by individuals, with the goal of encouraging higher levels of giving to charitable organizations, houses of worship and religious institutions.

Under the act, taxpayers who do not itemize their deductions will be permitted to claim up to an additional one-third of the standard deduction for non-itemizers for their charitable donations. For 2023, that would translate to an increase in the deduction from the current $300 for individual filers and $600 for married filers to a deduction of up to $4,500 for an individual filer and $9,000 for married couples filing jointly. (A similar provision was part of the CARES Act — a COVID-19 response bill passed in 2020, which has since lapsed.)

The bill is supported by a wide range of nonprofits from all sectors of the charitable world, including Jewish Federations of North America. As explained by Elana Broitman, JFNA’s senior vice president for public affairs, “When disaster strikes, when tragedy hits, when crises befall us, everyday Americans want to step up and lend a hand, often by supporting the nonprofit sector’s vital work.” The Charitable Act will add a meaningful benefit for taxpayers to do just that. They can help nonprofits do what they do best, and get a tax benefit for their generosity.

The Charitable Act is a win-win proposition. We encourage prompt passage of the bill. ■

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