Dunham+Company Research

More than half of Americans surveyed support keeping charitable tax deduction

Fifty-four percent oppose changing it as part of tax reform

April 13, 2015

Most Americans oppose limiting, capping or eliminating the charitable tax deduction as part of any tax reform, according to a Dunham+Company study conducted by Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research.

Fifty-four percent of Americans said they opposed changing the deduction while only 35 percent favored changes as part of tax reform, a stated priority of the Republican-controlled Congress. Eleven percent said they didn’t know or declined to answer.

More than half of Americans surveyed support leaving the charitable tax deduction alone
 

The strength of support for protecting the charitable tax deduction cuts across geographic boundaries. Fifty percent of those in the Northeast said they wanted it protected versus 38 percent who said they didn’t; 54 percent in the West were supportive of the deduction versus 35 percent who weren’t; 55 percent in the Midwest versus 34 percent; and a high of 56 percent in the South supporting its protection versus 34 percent who didn’t.

The survey showed that no demographic group of Americans supports capping, limiting or eliminating the charitable tax deduction as a way to deal with tax reform. The strongest support for protecting the deduction was among those age 55-64 (62 percent), college graduates (65 percent) and households making $100,000 or more annually (68 percent).

All income levels, including a plurality (46 percent) of households making less than $35,000 per year, supported the protection of the charitable tax deduction, with the higher the household income, the stronger the support.

In addition, the survey showed that whether households did not plan to give to charity in the coming year or planned to increase their giving, a plurality of all households supported the protection of the charitable tax deduction, with those who plan to give the same as usual demonstrating the strongest support (58 percent).

Regardless their planned level of giving to charity, more Americans believe the charitable tax deduction should be preserved
 

“The support for protecting the charitable tax deduction among the American public continues to be exceptionally strong,” says Rick Dunham, President+CEO of Dunham+Company.

“Regardless of household income, education, age, race, location or gender, more Americans favor protecting the charitable tax deduction than those who want to see it as part of tax reform.”

The Dunham+Company study was part of Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research’s January Omnibus Study of 1,015 adults nationwide. All respondents were contacted via random digit dialing methodology for live interviews Jan. 8-11, 2015. A sample of 1,015 has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.

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