Republican members of the congressional deficit committee are discussing plans that would limit some tax breaks to help close the federal deficit, The New York Times reports. But a top Congressional aide says lawmakers have not been talking about placing any limits on charitable deductions.
The committee is working to trim more than $1.2-trillion from the federal deficit over 10 years.
Republicans have said previously that they are against raising taxes of any kind, including placing new limits on how much wealthy people can deduct by making charitable gifts. As pressure mounts to strike a deal, however, Republican leaders could be softening their stance on some tax increases.
A congressional aide who asked not to be named said recent discussions have included proposals that would limit tax credits and deductions. But the aide said that the charitable deduction has not been discussed in detail.
The Alliance for Charitable Reform, a coalition of grant makers and donors, conveyed a similar message in an e-mail to supporters.
“While rumors have included a limit to the charitable deduction as part of this net tax increase, so far only the home-mortgage interest and state and local tax deductions have been specifically mentioned,” the organization said.
The charitable deduction, which allows taxpayers who itemize their returns to receive a tax break for their charitable gifts—is a key issue for charities. Many nonprofit leaders are worried that limiting the charitable deduction would curb giving. Nearly 4,000 nonprofit groups have signed a letter to the committee asking that lawmakers protect the current charitable deduction.
Democrats don’t like the plans Republicans have offered on taxes, saying they are concerned about how much revenue those ideas would realistically raise.