Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Tax Policy For The Common Good

Jonathan Hannah (Notre Dame), A Tax Policy for the Common Good: Renew the CARES Act’s Charitable Tax Deduction Permanently:

I have had the pleasure of teaching an experiential learning course, Philanthropy and the Common Good, over the past two years at the University of Notre Dame within our political science department and public service minor. Through the course, undergraduates read about the common good from various perspectives, visit local nonprofits, and even award real grants to deserving organizations that serve our greater South Bend community. Teaching a course like this is a joy and truly inspiring. What it has taught me above all is that young people want to give their time, talent, and money to help make society better and foster human flourishing.

Our laws and tax policies should encourage that kind of behavior, yet I fear that they may end up doing the opposite.

With a new administration coming soon, we can expect the typical federal tax policy changes that will come with it. Many taxpayers and policy experts get interested primarily in changes to tax brackets and itemized deductions. However, there is a minor change in federal tax policy under the CARES Act that rightly expands the benefit of charitable giving to taxpayers in all brackets, including those—usually the less wealthy—who do not itemize deductions. ...

Making the above-the-line charitable deduction a permanent feature of our tax code could spark more philanthropic activity in America. It could give community-based nonprofits the resources and support they will need to address the serious challenges that we will face, as our society emerges from this pandemic and moves forward.

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