Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Photo looking up the stairs outside the U.S. Capitol building, a white marble structure with columns and a tall multi-tiered dome.

Senators James Lankford (R-OK), Chris Coons (D-DE), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Raphael Warnock (R-GA), Susan Collins (R-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Gary Peters (D-MI), Tim Scott (R-SC), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) introduced The Charitable Act to expand and extend the expired non-itemized deduction for charitable giving. Americans for the Arts and Americans for the Arts Action Fund have endorsed this important piece of legislation.

The bill would make available to taxpayers, who do not itemize on their tax return, a below-the-line deduction for charitable giving on federal income taxes valued at up to one-third of the standard deduction (around $4,500 for an individual filer and around $9,000 for married joint filers). The standard deductions for tax year 2023 are $13,850 for individual filers and those married filing separately and $27,700 for married joint filers.

“We believe this is an equity issue and we are proud to support the bipartisan efforts of Senator Lankford and Senator Coons on The Charitable Act,” said Americans for the Arts President and CEO Nolen V. Bivens. “Since 2017, the percentage of taxpayers eligible to itemize personal deductions has dropped by more than half. As a result, an imbalance has been created in the demographics of who can itemize charitable donations. After the dramatic impact COVID-19 had on the arts sector, when so many companies had to temporarily close their doors or downsize staff, support from donors—at all giving levels—is vital to the recovery of the arts and culture sector.”

While private sector giving to the arts, culture, and humanities increased a remarkable 27.5% to $23.50 billion, arts have historically been procyclical, meaning that contributions grow faster than average in a stronger economy but below average during difficult economic times. With economic uncertainty expected to remain for the better part of this year, passage of the charitable act would once again provide and enhance a tax incentive for greater philanthropy.

Photo by Louis Velazquez on Unsplash.