Texarkana, TX 32° View Live Radar Sun H 46° L 30° Mon H 56° L 45° Tue H 60° L 32° Weather Sponsored By:

Tax change may curtail charitable donations

Tax change may curtail charitable donations

January 5th, 2019 by David Reavis in Business
David Reavis

Much has been written and spoken about the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), signed into law on December 22, 2017. One of the key provisions of the Act was that the standard deduction for taxpayers was roughly doubled, making it less likely for many taxpayers to itemize their deductions and diminishing the tax incentive for contributing to nonprofit organizations. Americans have historically been among the most generous in supporting nonprofits. While the impact of this change in the tax law is still unclear for many nonprofits, the expectation is that middle- and lower-income individuals and families may reduce their contributions because the tax incentive to contribute may be less than it was prior to TCJA passing.

But tax incentives are not the only factor to consider when making a donation to your favorite nonprofit organization. One important factor is whether the organization you are considering supporting is doing something that is important and in alignment with your values. This is why religious organizations and churches get such a large proportion (about one third) of charitable donations. Many people are passionate about helping support their church or other religious activities because the mission of their church aligns with their personal beliefs. Other nonprofit organizations are usually supported by people who share their values and see the mission as an important part of their community. For example, those who highly value education tend to support educational institutions.

Another thing to consider is how the donated funds will be used. Most people who donate want their money to be used to achieve the mission of the organization and are reluctant to give to fund overhead costs. It is important to realize that without effective leadership and operations staff, most nonprofits would never be able to use the remaining funds efficiently. In other words, some of the cost for a nonprofit must be for personnel rather than for programs. Looking at this balance can give a donor a good indication of how effective the organization is at meeting the goals of their mission.

In considering whether to donate to a nonprofit, funds are more likely to be put to good use in organizations that are willing to share their financial and operational data with donors. For well run organizations, reporting is regular, accurate, and available to potential and current donors.

As you begin planning your contributions for 2019, don't let the tax code decide to whom or how much you donate. While the financial implications are important, the church, club or charitable organization that depends on your giving will need your support now just as much as they did prior to when TCJA was passed.


Dr. David Reavis is a professor of management information systems and management at Texas A&M University-Texarkana.

Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Texarkana Gazette Comments Policy

The Texarkana Gazette web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Gazette web sites and any content on the Gazette web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Gazette, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Gazette web sites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Texarkana Gazette
15 Pine Street
Texarkana, TX 75501
Phone: 903-794-3311
Email: webeditor@texarkanagazette.com