Ways and Means Clears Charitable Giving Bill

On September 9, 2003, the House Ways and Means Committee cleared and sent to the House floor the Charitable Giving Bill of 2003 (HR 7) to provide tax breaks to encourage charitable donations. The bill includes among some two dozen provisions a charitable contributions deduction for nonitemizers, taxpayers over age 70 1/2 years to make tax-free charitable distributions from IRAs, an increase in the cap on corporate charitable contributions, an expanded deduction for food inventory, promotion of charitable contributions by S Corporations, and several provisions with respect to private foundations. Total ten-year cost of the legislation is estimated at $12.6 billion. Efforts to include offsetting revenue provisions were defeated. The Senate passed similar legislation, the Charity, Aid, Recover and Empowerment (CARE) bill (S 476), but including revenue offsets, in April, 2003. A House floor vote is expected within the coming week.

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