Will Tax Law Hurt Charitable Giving?

Will Tax Law Hurt Charitable Giving?

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Nonprofit organizations could see fewer donations now that the tax overhaul is in effect.

It's a nationwide concern with the potential for local impact.

After the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed in December of last year, the standard deduction for taxpayers has nearly doubled for 2018.

According to CNBC, individual taxpayers now have a standard deduction of $12,000, up from about $6,000.

Married couples now have a standard deduction $24,000, up from about $12,000.

"We'll have more clients who won't bother giving us their deductions because they know it's not going to exceed the standard deduction," said Bob Stackel, Stackel & Navarra CPA of Watertown. 

Stackel says people are less likely to itemize their charitable contributions, but will instead choose a standard deduction, which means if fewer people itemize, fewer might donate.

Many nonprofits we spoke with are unsure about how the changes might affect donations, saying it's too early to tell.

"We haven't seen any evidence that people are changing their giving patterns... yet," said Bob Gorman, CEO of the United Way of Northern New York.  

Gorman says donations to the United Way have scaled back in the last few months.

"I think we're still in a sorting out period here to determine whether this will have a major impact on peoples' ability to give," he said.

Time will tell how these changes make a difference as people have until December 31 to donate before taxes are filed next year. 

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