ICNL logo

The International Journal
of Not-for-Profit Law

Volume 3, Issue 3, March 2001

A publication of the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law

Table of Contents

Letter from the Editor


The State, Laws and Nongovernmental Organizations in Bangladesh
By Mokbul Morshed Ahmad

China's Nongovernmental Organizations: Status, Government Policies, and Prospects for Further Development
By Guangyao Chen

The Czech Government and NGOs in 2001
By Petr Pajas

The Italian Legal System Relating to Not-for-Profit Organizations: A Historical and Evolutionary Overview
By Alceste Santuari


The Legal System Between the State and Civil Society
By Jurgen Nautz, Emil Brix, and Gerhard Luf
Reviewed by Thomas Notter

Foundations of Charity
By Charles Mitchell and Susan R. Moody
Reviewed by Karla Simon

Case Notes

Middle East and North Africa:

North America:
the United States

Country Reports

Asia Pacific:
| Australia | Cambodia | Indonesia | Japan

Central and Eastern Europe:
Regional | Albania | Lithuania

Latin America and the Caribbean:
Brazil | Chile | Venezuela

Middle East and North Africa:

Newly Independent States:

North America:
the United States

South Asia:

Sub-Saharan Africa:
| Ghana | South Africa

Western Europe:
France | Germany

Self-Regulation Reports

Northern NGO Guidelines and Codes of Conduct: Conflicting Rights and Responsibilities?
By Julie Gale

Building Trust in NGOs
By Simon Heap

Nigeria: Draft Code of Standard Practice for NGOs

Switzerland: New Accounting Rules for Not-for-Profit Organizations (NPOs)

International Grantmaking

Bar Association Task Force Revisits Private Foundation Rules: Implication for Foreign Grantmaking
By Richard S. Gallagher

Donating to U.S. Charities
By Arthur B.C. Drache, Q.C.

The Council on Foundations Secures Information Letter that Permits Use of Expenditure Responsibility for Most International Grants


- - - - - - - - - -

Editorial Board

Country Reports: North America

the United States

Deductibility of Charitable Donations for Non-Itemizers

By Katharine Larsen and Theo Nkwenti, ICNL Legal Interns

Eight Congressional tax relief bills – four in the House and four in the Senate – propose extending deductions for charitable donations to non-itemizing taxpayers. Such an amendment to the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (IRC) would allow millions of non-itemizing taxpayers to fully claim a charitable deduction for their contributions up to the amount of standard deduction.

None of these proposals was included in the Bush Administration’s tax package. Although the bills enjoy bi-partisan support, links to controversial charitable choice proposals – allowing governmental contributions to religious charities – weakened support for the non-itemizer deduction. Because President Bush is promoting charitable choice as part of his faith-based initiatives and independently of other IRC amendments, the non-itemizer proposals, particularly H.R.777, may gain favor as stand-alone bills.

Currently, approximately 84 million Americans cannot deduct any of their charitable contributions because they do not itemize their tax returns. The Congressional proposals would serve to increasingly recognize and encourage giving among all Americans.

A brief description of each proposal follows below.  

Bill No.






Charitable Giving Tax Relief Act

Rep. Phil Crane (R-Ill)

Referred to Ways and Means Committee, 2/28/01

Amends the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (IRC), allowing non-itemizers to deduct a portion of their charitable contributions.


Neighbor-to-Neighbor Act

Rep. Jennifer Dunn


Referred to Ways and Means Committee, 3/1/01

Amends the IRC to: (1) allow non-itemizing taxpayers a limited charitable deduction; (2) exclude charitable deductions from the income-based limitation on itemized deductions: (3) repeal the special limitation on charitable contributions of capital gain property; (4) extend the excess contribution carryover period; and (5) allow tax-free distributions from individual retirement accounts (IRAs) for qualifying charitable purposes.


Community Solutions Act of 2001, also Charitable Choice Act

Rep. J.C. Watts

(R-OK) and

Rep. Tony Hall (D-OH)

Referred to Ways and Means Committee

and Judiciary Committee, 3/29/01

Amends the IRC to: (1) allow charitable contribution deductions for non-itemizers; (2) allow governmental funding of religious organizations; and (3) allow for the establishment of Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) for lower-income taxpayers.


Charitable Giving Act of 2001

Rep. Dan Burton


Referred to Ways and Means Committee, 2/7/01

Amends the IRC to establish, for all taxpayers, a charitable contribution tax credit of up to $200, in lieu of any deduction otherwise allowed.


Tax Cut with a Purpose Act of 2001, also Tax Reduction Bill

Sen. Phil Gramm


Referred to Finance Committee, 1/22/01. Hearings held 3/14-15/01.

While amending the IRC to reduce tax rates and increase deductions generally, also (1) allows deductions for charitable giving for non-itemizers, (2) allows tax-free distributions from IRAs for charitable purposes, and (3) increases allowable charitable contribution deductions for corporations.



Giving Incentives for Taxpayers Act

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

Referred to Finance Committee, 2/8/01. Hearings held 3/14/01.

Allows non-itemizing single-filers to deduct up to $500 in charitable contributions annually (up to $1,000 for joint filers).


Savings Opportunity and Charitable Giving Act of 2001, also Faith-Based and Community Initiatives Bill

Sen. Rick Santorum


Referred to Finance Committee, 3/21/01.

Among other amendments, (1) allows non-itemizers to deduct a percentage of charitable contributions over a floor of $500 for single filers ($1,000 for joint filers), (2) establishes Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) for lower income taxpayers, (3) includes tax-free distributions from IRAs, and (4) allows a limited charitable deduction for contributions of food inventory.


Neighbor-to-Neighbor Act

Sen. James Inhofe


Referred to Finance Committee, 4/26/01.

See H.R.824.


Copyright © 2012 The International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL)
ISSN: 1556-5157