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Charity donations likely to drop next year due to lost incentives in the new tax law

Dec. 29, 2017 at 11:02 p.m.


WASHINGTON (AP) — In this season of giving, charity seems to be getting an extra jolt, because next year the popular tax deduction for donations will lose a lot of its punch.

Traditionally generous Americans may have less incentive to give to charitable causes next year because of the newly minted tax law. The changes that will make it less advantageous for many people to donate to charity in 2018 may be sparking a year-end stream of fattened contributions in anticipation, charity executives and experts say.

Starting next year, the millions of relatively small donations from moderate-income people to mainstream charities could be sharply reduced, they say. That means charity could become less of a middle-class enterprise and a more exclusive domain of the wealthy, who tend to give to arts and cultural institutions, research facilities and universities. Their use of the charitable tax deduction is less likely to be affected by the new law.

The sweeping Republican tax overhaul, delivered by the GOP-dominated Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump, doesn't eliminate or even reduce the deduction for donations to charitable, religious and other nonprofit organizations. Charitable giving should be encouraged with a tax incentive, congressional Republicans crafting the plan said early on, and the cherished deduction.

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