Virtually every provision of the Senate’s COVID-19 relief legislation will lead to more federal spending, but some important sections will actually lead to less — by increasing incentives for charitable giving. Such giving is critical during this moment of crisis, but these incentives will continue to matter once it’s passed.
The key provisions would extend a tax benefit for charitable giving to all taxpayers, not just the few relatively affluent households that itemize their deductions.
The numbers could be significant. Draft legislation allows for a $300 deduction for all taxpayers. A proposed amendment, backed by an impressive range of senators, including Oklahoma Republican James Lankford and Minnesota Democrat Amy Klobuchar, would make an expanded charitable deduction of $4,000 for single taxpayers and $8,000 for married couples available even to those who don’t otherwise itemize.
Both are crucial additions to the tax code and recognize that, when America is in crisis, civil society steps in to provide assistance, whether to those who need food deliveries but are not Amazon Prime members or those who need basic shelter. Meals on Wheels, local churches, synagogues, and mosques are all aspects of America’s civil society.
Photo by mixetto/iStock