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Friday January 27, 2023

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Helping Nonprofits Respond to Natural Disasters

In an August 3, 2022 letter, a coalition of nonprofits urged leaders in Washington to enable nonprofits to respond to a multitude of natural disasters this summer. These disasters include floods, wildfires, severe storms, landslides and exceptional drought.

There is "horrendous flooding in Kentucky," and major wildfires in "Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oregon, and Texas." Thousands have been impacted by "severe, damaging storms in Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and South Dakota." There are landslides in Alaska and exceptional drought in California, Idaho, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. America now faces a fall season with major hurricanes and the worst of wildfires.

Millions of Americans are suffering from natural disasters and need services from nonprofits. However, nonprofits are still "struggling to recover from the significantly added workloads they endured throughout the pandemic." Therefore, the coalition calls on Congress to restore and increase charitable giving incentives.

The coalition urges Congress to restore the nonitemizer deduction, increase the giving limit per year and renew the Employee Retention Tax Credit.

1. Nonitemizer Deduction - The coalition asks Congress to renew the $300 ($600 per married couple filing jointly) above-the-line deduction. Hopefully, this amount would be increased substantially.

2. Expanded Charitable Deduction - During 2020 and 2021, generous individuals were able to donate cash and deduct up to 100% of their adjusted gross income. Renewing this provision would help increase gifts from major donors. Another helpful expansion is for corporations to be able to give and deduct up to 25% of taxable income.

3. Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) - There was a refundable tax credit to encourage employment during the pandemic. This credit enabled many nonprofits to retain staff. If this employee tax credit is renewed, many nonprofits will be able to increase staff and better serve Americans in need.

The charitable coalition concludes, "The people you and charitable nonprofits serve urgently need help now: those without homes, their businesses, and basic necessities of food, clothing, and more can't wait for assistance until September, or even later. We urge you to come together and pass immediate disaster relief legislation that will enable the charitable community to provide the greatest support possible for our fellow residents."

Editor's Note: All nonprofits are rebuilding after the major challenges of the COVID pandemic. The charitable coalition correctly explains to Congress that provisions passed in the last three years could be renewed and will benefit millions of Americans.

Published August 5, 2022
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