Letter to the editor: Tax bill will hurt charities, givers
Charitable organizations and their donors undoubtedly breathed a sigh of relief upon learning that the tax proposals which recently passed both the House and Senate preserved the charitable contribution deduction. A closer look at both versions, along with some simple math, however, reveals quite another story.
With the standard deduction almost doubled, property tax and mortgage interest capped, deductions for state and local income and sales taxes eliminated, and deductions for medical expenses preserved only in the Senate version, millions of Americans now will find it impossible to surpass the threshold necessary for filing Schedule A. Without Schedule A, they will receive no tax deduction for any charitable contributions they may have made.
While some individuals will continue to make contributions without the benefit of a tax deduction, many others — especially those paying even higher taxes — will think twice before opening their wallet or checkbook the next time a natural disaster strikes or a letter requesting a charitable donation arrives.
In addition, almost doubling the standard deduction is not the generous “gift” if appears either because the personal exemption loss offsets the standard deduction increase by 86.25 percent.
In the end, both charitable organizations and the middle class will end up losers if this smoke and mirrors illusion becomes law.
Susan L. Gero