Independent Sector has analyzed the tax plans released by presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump to determine what impact they might have on the charitable community. Through the lens of our 2012 Independent Sector Principles for Deficit Reduction and Tax Reform, we took a look at their proposals regarding revenue, spending, and charitable giving.
Our Guiding Principles address spending and tax policy, and build on the premise that, as a matter of justice, fairness, and effectiveness, steps taken to address the nation’s fiscal challenges should favor policies that will not exacerbate income inequality or increase poverty.
Our analysis includes insights from groups such as the Committee for Responsible Federal Budget, Tax Policy Center, the Tax Foundation, Citizens for Tax Justice, and the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.
We conclude that:
The cost of Secretary Clinton’s investment in a number of key programs is largely offset by an increase in the taxes paid by those most able to afford such an increase, while also preserving the tax incentive for charitable giving.
Mr. Trump would significantly expand our national deficit as a result of tax cuts that provide proportionately greater savings to taxpayers in higher income brackets. Additionally, he proposes deep, across-the-board reductions in spending on federal programs that support the work of charitable organizations in communities across the country. The impact of these spending cuts on the ability of charities to improve lives will likely be exacerbated by reductions in charitable giving resulting from proposed changes that eliminate the tax incentive for millions of taxpayers.