God Loves a Cheerful Itemizer

Experts assess how Trump tax plan to double the standard deduction would cost ministries bigly.
If you make between $50,000 and $100,000 a year, you’ll probably give less to charity under President Donald Trump’s proposed tax plan.
So says a study commissioned by Independent Sector, a coalition of nonprofits, foundations, and corporate giving programs.
Back in May, researchers from Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy ran the numbers on the Trump administration’s proposal to double the standard deduction from $6,300 to $12,600 for individuals, and from $12,600 to $24,000 for joint filers.
This week, key Republicans affirmed the plan, which also increases the child tax credit and eliminates most itemized deductions except for mortgage interest and charitable contributions.
The changes, which still have to get past Congress, would mean less money in the federal government’s pockets—and also mean less for ministries.
“The Unified Framework for Fixing Our Broken Tax Code is just that—a framework,” said Dan Busby, president of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA). “The details”—many of which are left up to Congress to decide—“are what will tell the real story.”
Busby broke down for CT how Trump’s proposals would affect charitable giving:

Lowering corporate tax rates and the pass-through rates for small business are pro-growth elements, placing more dollars in the hands of those who support churches and ministries. That is good for ministries, but the impact will tend to be long-term.
The elimination of the personal deduction reduces available resources to make charitable deductions.
The repeal of the death tax removes the significant incentive for many to make charitable contributions to avoid this tax.
Continue reading…