WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Blake Moore (R-UT) has introduced a bi-partisan legislative proposal to permanently revive a COVID-era tax break for charitable giving.
“We want to incentivize people to do what they’ve always done,” Moore said, “to be able to contribute to causes that they care about, whether that be a specific issue like poverty, homelessness or their church.”
Dubbed simply The Charitable Act, the proposal by Moore and his colleagues in the U.S. House would extend and expand the expired COVID-era charitable deduction for taxpayers who do not itemize deductions on their federal income tax return.
That would ensure that every American who donates or tithes is able to benefit from both the standard deduction and an increased charitable deduction, according to members of Moore staff.
Specifically, this legislation would raise the previous $300/$600 cap on non-itemized deductions (which expired after 2022) to one-third of the standardized deduction, equal to roughly $4,500 for individuals and $9,000 for joint filers.
“Every American, regardless of their income, can contribute by helping charities, nonprofits, and religious organizations provide vital services that go far beyond the government’s reach,” Moore explained after introducing The Charitable Act on May 17.
“I am honored to introduce legislation that will help more people contribute to the causes closest to their hearts.”
In the U.S. House, The Charitable Act is co-sponsored by Representatives Michelle Steel (R-CA), Danny Davis (D-IL) and Chris Papas (D-NH). Moore also said that Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) is expected to introduce a companion bill in the U.S. Senate.
Of the $484.85 billion donated to charities in 2021, 67% of donations came from individuals, according to Moore’s staff in Washington.
While charitable contributions from foundations and corporations have grown in recent years, the share of dollars donated by individuals has fallen for the fourth consecutive year.
This alarming trend has serious implications for the churches, museums, food banks and other nonprofits that serve communities and unite Americans.
Tax experts suggest that much of that reduction is to due with changes to the federal tax code implemented under President Donald Trump.
When the increased standardized deduction took effect in 2017, many Americans no longer itemized their deductions, opting instead for the larger standardized deduction.
But under the proposed Charitable Act, all Americans would be able to deduct at least a portion of their giving, including low- and middle-income members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who regularly tithe 10 percent of their income to that church in Utah.
When Congress created the temporary universal charitable deduction in 2021 and 2022, the result was the generation of $10.9 billion for charities, with 25% of that coming from Americans making less than $30,000.
Given the impact of the smaller deduction during the COVID-era, Moore’s staff said the much higher tax incentives of The Charitable Act are expected to supercharge charitable giving.
Moore’s staff said that The Charitable Act is supported by a broad, nationwide coalition of non-profits, including more than one 100 charitable groups here in Utah.