June 24, 2020

Some good news, as the League and orchestras join the broader nonprofit sector in seeking increased incentives for the charitable giving that supports communities nationwide: Senators James Lankford (R-OK), Chris Coons (D-DE), Mike Lee (R-UT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Tim Scott (R-SC), and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) have introduced the bipartisan Universal Giving Pandemic Response Act (S. 4032) (PDF) to expand the current above-the-line deduction for charitable giving made available by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in March. The provision would lift the current $300-per-tax-filing cap and making available–for tax years 2019 and 2020–an above-the-line deduction for charitable giving on federal income taxes valued at up to one-third of the standard deduction (around $4,000 for an individual filer and $8,000 for married joint filers). This giving incentive could spark new and increased donations from taxpayers who no longer itemize their tax returns, and is particularly important as orchestras and other nonprofit organizations increasingly rely on charitable giving, as earned revenue has declined in the wake of COVID-19 event cancellations.

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