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Shaheen Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Encourage Charitable Giving During Pandemic

(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) helped reintroduce the bipartisan Universal Giving Pandemic Response and Recovery Act with Senator James Lankford (R-OK) and a bipartisan group of lawmakers to expand and extend the current deduction for charitable giving. The bill would ensure that Americans who donate to charities, houses of worship, religious organizations and other nonprofits are able to deduct that donation from their federal taxes at a higher level than the current $300 deduction. In the latest COVID relief package passed in December 2020, an extension of the $300 charitable deduction was included for 2021.

Specifically, the bill would make available to taxpayers who do not itemize on their tax returns—for tax years 2021 and 2022—a below-the-line deduction for charitable giving on federal income taxes valued at up to one-third of the standard deduction (around $4,000 for an individual filer and $8,000 for married joint filers).

“Nonprofits across New Hampshire have been on the frontlines serving families in need throughout this pandemic, and charitable donations are their lifeline to defray costs and help keep their doors open. Yet due to changes in the tax code made by the 2017 tax law, the incentive for ordinary families to contribute to their favorite causes has been significantly weakened,” said Shaheen. “Congress should do everything it can to keep these donations flowing, including modifying the tax code to reinstate more generous incentives for charitable giving. I’m glad to partner with this bipartisan coalition on this common-sense measure to reward charitable donations, and I’ll continue to fight for resources for Granite State nonprofits and organizations serving our most vulnerable populations.”

The bill is supported by several nonprofits, including National Council of Nonprofits, Charitable Giving Coalition, The Philanthropy Roundtable, Faith and Giving Coalition, United Way Worldwide, National Philanthropic Trust, Association of Art Museum Directors, The Nonprofit Alliance, Council for Advancement and Support of Education, Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, American Red Cross, National Association of Evangelicals, Philanthropy Southwest, Council on Foundations and Independent Sector.