The Charitable Giving Relief Act (HR2499) has been introduced in the House of Representatives. In short, it would allow individuals who do not itemize deductions in their tax returns to deduct 50 percent of their annual tax contributions over $500.
The following letter was signed by members of the MDA National Task Force Steering Committee, individually addressed and mailed on November 21, 1997, to:
Representative Philip M. Crane
Representative William J. Coyne
Representative Bill Archer
Representative Wally Herger
Representative Karen Thurman
Representative Charles B. Rangel
RE: SUPPORT FOR H.R. 2499
THE CHARITABLE GIVING RELIEF ACT
We represent the Muscular Dystrophy Association's National Task Force on Public Awareness, a voluntary body comprising adults affected by neuromuscular disease which advises MDA on issues of importance to those it serves. We are writing to express our support of the Charitable Giving Relief Act (H.R. 2499).
As one of the nation's largest and most efficient national voluntary health organizations, MDA provides a wide range of clinical and support services that enhance the quality of life for thousands of individuals with neuromuscular disabilities and their families. MDA also supports a worldwide research program designed to find treatments and cures for 40 neuromuscular diseases. In pursuit of this critical work, MDA relies solely upon the generosity of the American public. The ability of the millions of individuals who support MDA each year to be rewarded for their generosity through the tax code has been a major impetus in funding the Association's lifesaving mission. However, an important constituency supporting MDA's crucial work are the thousands of individuals each of whom contribute more than $500 a year to MDA's mission and do not itemize their deductions. These generous supporters have historically been placed at a distinct disadvantage by the federal tax code.
The Charitable Giving Relief Act would address this inequity by allowing individuals who do not itemize deductions on their tax returns to deduct 50 percent of their annual charitable contributions over $500. This Act would provide greater incentive to those millions of taxpayers who choose not to itemize their deductions to give generously to charitable organizations like MDA, which do so much to improve the quality of life for all Americans.
This Act will ensure that those who make considerable contributions to the nonprofit community are rewarded by the tax code. The Act will improve tax fairness by providing non-itemizers who give generously with the same opportunity to deduct their contributions as those who itemize deductions. The Act also will provide equal access to contributions for all nonprofits and encourage charitable giving to organizations like MDA, thereby ensuring that they can meet the needs of those they serve.
Because it promises to enhance the fairness of the federal tax code for all individuals who give to charities, and because it creates incentives that would increase contributions to not-for-profit organizations that serve as critical community resources, we urge you to support the Charitable Giving Relief Act.
Very truly yours,
The Members of the Steering Committee of the
MDA National Task Force on Public Awareness
/s William. Altaffer, Esq.
/s Jan Blaustone
/s Shelley C. Obrand
/s Chris Rosa