poverty reduction

Charitable Tax Deductions Crucial in Meeting Needs of Poor

Guest post by Samuel A. Worthington, InterAction President and CEO

This blog was first published Dec. 20 as a news release by InterAction, the largest alliance of U.S.-based nongovernmental international organizations, of which ChildFund International is a member.

As Congress debates the upcoming fiscal cliff, charitable tax deductions are at risk.

Yet, during these difficult economic times, we must remain focused on helping our world’s poorest and most vulnerable. I am deeply concerned that eliminating or limiting the charitable tax deduction would harm the very people who need the most help.

two children at well

Baraka and Kaingi draw clean water from a ChildFund-installed well in Migwani, Kenya. Photo: Jake Lyell

The more than 200 organizations that make up InterAction are out in the world every day – feeding the poor and helping them to build better futures for themselves and their families. However, these organizations cannot do this work without the generosity of the American people. By harming the organizations designed to help those in need, people will suffer.

While the charitable deduction does reduce government income, it does so in a way that actually triples its effectiveness: For every dollar that does not go to the U.S. government because of the charitable deduction, nearly $3 goes to a charity that helps the poor and the vulnerable. By continuing the deduction in its current form, the U.S. government gets a three-to-one investment in poverty-reduction.

The tradition of charitable giving is American to its core. We should not deter this custom.

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