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Unintended consequences

Lisa Berry | December 19, 2017

The House and Senate have drafted a final version of their tax bill, and it is expected to be on President Trump’s desk by the end of the week. The Prevent Cancer Foundation® has spoken out on what this proposed tax legislation could mean for access to preventive health care and early detection services (read our full statement). But the tax reform bill could also have large unintended consequences for all charities and nonprofits, including the Foundation.

Currently, when Americans file their taxes, they have the choice of taking a standard tax deduction or itemizing their deductions. About a third of taxpayers itemize their deductions, writing off things like home mortgage interest, state and local property taxes, and charitable donations.

With the new tax bill, the standard deduction would double, ballooning to $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for married couples filing jointly, while many itemized deductions other than charitable donations would be eliminated. The result is that approximately 28-30 million people who itemize on their tax returns will no longer do so. That is concerning, since more than 80 percent of charitable donations come from people who itemize deductions. The new tax bill takes away the financial incentive for middle-class families to make these donations.

The result will be an estimated $13 billion loss in charitable donations.

Nonprofits like the Prevent Cancer Foundation® rely on donations in order to do important, lifesaving work. Tell members of Congress that their tax bill discourages the charitable giving we need in order to serve our communities.

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