White House Budget Includes Cap on Charitable Deduction for Wealthiest Donors

Nonprofit organizations are criticizing a White House budget plan that would limit the value of all tax deductions, including the deduction for charitable giving, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reports.

In its budget proposal for fiscal year 2015, the White House calls for deductions to be capped at 28 percent for married couples whose incomes put them in the top 3 percent of all income earners. Last week, Rep. David Camp (R-MI), who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, floated a tax plan that would limit the charitable deduction to giving that exceeds 2 percent of an individual's gross income.

In each of the past six years, foundations and charities have fought similar attempts to limit or cap the charitable deduction, and few nonprofit leaders or experts on public policy believe that either proposal will be enacted before Election Day. Still, with House Republicans determined to shrink the deficit and the White House scrambling to find revenues where it can, many nonprofit leaders say they feel the issue is coming to a head.

Vikki Spruill, president and CEO of the Council on Foundations, said that limiting the charitable deduction would have a cascading effect on charities that depend on funds from private sources. "You cannot take any of this lightly," Spruill told the Chronicle. "These are the things that begin to frame the agenda."

Alex Daniels. "Obama 2015 Budget Would Cap Charitable Deduction at 28 Percent for Top Income Earners." Chronicle of Philanthropy 03/04/2014.