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Forum Statement on Republican Tax Reform Plan

Thursday, September 28, 2017

(Washington, DC, September 28, 2017) — The following statement is from David Biemesderfer, President & CEO of United Philanthropy Forum:

"The Republican tax reform proposal released yesterday, called the Unified Framework for Fixing Our Broken Tax Code, does not meet its stated goal to strengthen civil society through charitable giving. In fact, the proposal would result in significant decreases in charitable contributions.

The proposal doubles the standard deduction while keeping the charitable deduction in its current form, which would make the charitable deduction available to only 5% of all taxpayers. Therefore 95% of taxpayers under this proposal would be taxed on their gifts to charity, resulting in a $13 billion reduction in giving each year. This drop in giving does not even include the additional losses in charitable giving that would result from the repeal of the estate tax, which is also in the current Republican tax reform plan.

Our proposed solution is simple: make the charitable deduction available to all taxpayers through a universal charitable deduction. The universal charitable deduction would not only offset the estimated losses in charitable giving under the current tax reform proposal, but would allow people at all income levels to take advantage of this incentive."

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United Philanthropy Forum is the largest network serving philanthropy in America. The Forum’s membership of 63 regional and national philanthropy-serving organizations, which represent more than 7,000 foundations and other philanthropies, work to advance, inform and support philanthropy. With deep regional roots and a broad nationwide reach, the Forum unites a diverse network to lead change and increase impact in philanthropy. For more information, visit

Jay Hutchins
Associate Director of Policy
(202) 888-6732

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