A Florida congressman has brought out a proposal to reform the federal tax code to allow more incentives for charitable donations.
U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., who sits on the U.S. Ways and Means Committee, unveiled the “Everyday Philanthropist Act” last week. The bill creates Flexible Giving Accounts (FGAs) to allow employees to designate up to $2,700 annually to the charities of their choice without having to pay taxes on those funds.
“This new employee benefit, which employers will be able to administer themselves or enlist outside help to establish, would function similarly to flexible spending accounts (FSAs), health savings accounts (HSAs) and other pre-tax payroll deductions. While $2,700 is the annual cap, there would be no minimum contribution requirement, giving every American access to these tax-free accounts,” Buchanan’s office noted.
U.S. Rep. Tom Suozzi, D-NY, is cosponsoring the bill. The two congressmen weighed in on the bill on Friday.
“Everyday Americans are the foundation of charitable giving across the country,” Buchanan said. “This is a commonsense approach to help Americans give to their favorite charities by providing them with an effective tax break. Charities and non-profit groups throughout the U.S. serve some of the most vulnerable populations in our communities.”
“Americans across our nation are supporting not-for-profits, religious institutions, and hospitals that are tackling incredibly important issues such as combating the opioid epidemic, fighting hunger, curing cancer, and much more,” Suozzi said. “That is why I am so proud to introduce this legislation with Rep. Buchanan which would incentivize even more Americans to bolster their favorite causes.”
The congressmen pointed a report from Giving USA which shows last year Americans have less to charity despite the strong economy.
The bill was sent to the U.S. Ways and Means Committee on Thursday. So far, there is no companion bill over in the U.S. Senate.