Sending Office: Honorable Christopher H. Smith
Sent By:

Support the Charitable Giving Tax Deduction Act (H.R. 651)

Dear Colleague,

          Individuals and families in the United States have long been generous patrons of charitable causes, which has continually enhanced the ability of non-profit and philanthropic groups to better assist communities in need.

          In order to support charitable organizations and continue incentivizing taxpayers to give to the causes they care about, I have worked with Congressman Henry Cuellar to introduce the Charitable Giving Tax Deduction Act (H.R. 651).

          Our legislation would allow taxpayers to write off charitable contributions on their taxes whether or not they choose to itemize their deductions, thereby enabling taxpayers to take the higher standard deduction and also incentivizing support for
charities. The bill establishes charitable deductions as “above-the-line,” and does not cap the amount one could give, although the Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) limits of sixty percent under the new tax law continue to apply. 

          Under the previous tax code, approximately 30 percent of filers itemized their deductions, including the charitable deduction. However, the new tax law (now P.L. 115-97) doubled the standard deduction, which is expected to reduce the number of
filers who itemize their taxes and therefore utilize the charitable deduction.

2019 report
released on June 18th by the Giving USA Foundation outlined a 1.1% drop in charitable giving compared to 2017 (3.4% when adjusted for inflation) due to the increase in the standard deduction and the State and Local Tax Deduction (SALT)
cap.  As the article mentions, it is the largest drop in charitable since 2009.

          Charitable organizations, including faith based and other non-profits, are the life-blood of services to those in need in our society, and I am committed to a tax policy that amplifies their ability to serve our community. Non-profit organizations
and civil society provide for unmet needs and it is my hope they this bill will ensure they continue to receive the support they need to continue their critical mission to society.

          By enabling those taking the standard deduction to also claim the charitable deduction, uncapped, this bill would help generate revenue for charities and philanthropic organizations, and it enjoys bipartisan support.  We hope that
you will join us in cosponsoring.  For details, please call or email Monica Herman ( with Congressman Chris Smith’s office at 5-3765 or Travis Knight (
with Congressman Henry Cuellar’s office at 5-1640.



CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH                                                              HENRY CUELLAR

      Member of Congress                                                                    Member of Congress

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Finance, Taxes

icon eDC logo e-Dear Colleague version 2.0
e-Dear Colleagues are intended for internal House use only.