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Placing Limits on Charitable Tax Deductions Threaten to Shred America’s Safety Net for the Poor, Warns World Vision


Washington, DC — As Congress tackles the upcoming fiscal cliff debate, hundreds of nonprofits are descending upon Capitol Hill today (PDF) in efforts to urge policymakers to protect charitable tax deductions for American taxpayers. The proposed cap limiting itemized deductions at 28 percent for certain taxpayers threatens to shred the safety net of services to America’s most poor and vulnerable and could stall economic recovery, warns Christian humanitarian organization World Vision.

“At a time when the government is cutting back, and half of Americans are classified as poor or low income, the need for charitable services could not be greater,” said Richard Stearns, CEO of World Vision and member of President Obama’s advisory council to Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships during its inaugural year. “During these difficult economic times, evidence shows the government leaning more on the private and nonprofit sector to help provide solutions for the poor. Placing limits on tax deductions not only undermines the taxpayers’ contribution, it also hurts the charities helping to keep the safety net intact.”

“Unlike other tax deductible payments, charitable deductions are more sensitive to cuts, because taxpayers can easily adjust charitable giving levels. Tax deductions provide more incentive to give larger gifts, and in a recent survey (PDF) conducted, three out of four Americans said they do not favor cutting charitable tax deductions.

“Donors give for reasons much greater than just tax incentives, so we believe donors will still give, but if a cap is placed on the amount people can deduct, donors may have less to give,” said Stearns. “While donors give smaller and less frequent charitable gifts, the number of people needing these charitable gifts will go up and the end result will have a long-lasting effect on our economic recovery. The real tragedy, however, will be the impact this will have on the millions of people who desperately need these life-saving services.”

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World Vision is a Christian relief, development, and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. For more information on their efforts, visit or follow them on Twitter at @WorldVisionNews


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