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Will Tax Incentives Be Restored?

2 years ago By The Signatry

The new tax reform laws that were passed December 2017 essentially got rid of the tax incentive to give to charity, at least for the majority of middle- and low-income givers. Because of the new tax law, Forbes has estimated that charitable giving this year will decrease by $12 to $19 billion.[1] However, laws are in the works to turn this around. Last fall, Rep. Mark Walker (North Carolina)  and Sen. James Lankford (Oklahoma) introduced a new bill, the Universal Charitable Giving Act, and it is gaining steam. The way the current law stands, only taxpayers who itemize their deductions…

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Ministry

The Incredible Eulogy of John the Baptist

2 years ago By Bill High

John the Baptist was a different kind of guy.  He was a miracle baby.  His father and mother were past the child-bearing age.  But he was more than an “oops” baby.  He was born to a mission:  he’d be the Elijah, the messenger declaring the way of the Lord.  It’s little wonder that his birth came under impossible circumstances. After his birth, we hear little of John the Baptist until his adult life.  Apparently, he’d made his way to the wilderness, and he attracted attention—not only for his lifestyle but for his message.  He ate locusts (yuck) and honey (well…

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Ministry

How Tax Reform Could Impact Charitable Giving

3 years ago By Bill High

As Congress works to implement tax reform, much of the focus has been on business and personal income tax relief and on simplifying the code.  But in the flurry of activity between proposals and counter proposals, there’s been little coverage related to the charitable deduction.  I received an email the other day from a colleague who has been active on Capitol Hill, offering some analysis: Some of the proposals have argued for raising the standard deduction to $12,000. Currently 33% of tax filers itemize. This group essentially doesn’t pay taxes on what they give. If the standard deduction is doubled,…

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Ministry

Can We Raise the 2 Percent?

4 years ago By Bill High

There are some rosy numbers out there for the giving world. For example, in 2015, The Atlas for Giving predicted giving to be at a total of $442 billion. While this is a healthy number, it actually is a decrease. Here’s the head scratcher—giving remains at 2 percent of GDP and has been that way for the past 40 years.  Put differently, no matter the times, no matter how well the stock market does, no matter how much incomes rise, giving as an overall percentage of the wallet has remained the same. That flat giving percentage puzzles me, since more…

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