Camp Warns Against Cap on Charitable Break in Tax Rewrite

Deductions for charitable giving shouldn’t be capped, the top Republican tax writer in the House of Representatives said.

Dave Camp, a Michigan Republican, in a speech today objected to a proposal by President Barack Obama to limit the benefit for tax breaks, including charitable contributions, for those in marginal tax brackets exceeding 28 percent.

“That is probably not something I think is the direction,” said Camp, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

He spoke at a tax summit in Washington sponsored by Baker & Hostetler LLP, the Federal Policy Group and the Yale Club.

Camp expressed openness to an idea to let U.S. taxpayers make charitable contributions through the April 15 filing date that would apply to taxes on their prior year’s income. For example, under that approach, those filing their 2015 taxes would have until April 15, 2016, to make contributions they could deduct from their 2015 income.

He also didn’t rule out reductions in the charitable deduction to help pay for tax-rate cuts. Instead, he emphasized the importance of economic growth that would give people more income that they can give away.

“As you track charitable contributions, they really don’t track tax policy,” he said. “What they track is the strength of the economy.”

Camp reiterated his goal of approving a tax-code revision in his committee by year’s end. Camp said he has begun individual meetings with all members of his committee.

Representative Ron Kind, a Wisconsin Democrat, said he met with Camp last week and urged him to offer a proposal that members could analyze.

“We need a plan,” he said. “We need something on paper.”

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