Community Foundation talks charitable giving concerns with new tax law

Greater Green Bay Community Foundation on December 28, 2017 (WLUK/Mike Moon)

GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- There are concerns across the country and in Northeast Wisconsin right now about how the new tax law will impact charitable giving.

As 2017 comes to a close questions are swirling about how recently passed tax reform will impact charities in the years to come. Many non-profits have said it could mean less money coming in.

"We are certainly pleased that the charitable deduction has been retained in the current law. One of our concerns is that it doesn't offset the increase in the standard deduction, or potential changes that could happen because of the lowering of the top marginal rate, or potential estate tax implications," explained Dennis Buehler, the president and CEO of the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation Thursday.

He told us the biggest concern is the new tax law doubles the standard deduction for single people AND married couples. That means it might no longer benefit people to itemize deductions like charitable giving.

"We're not certain whether or not people's giving patterns will or will not change based on the fact that they may not be able to deduct those since the standard deduction would increase," Buehler told FOX 11 News.

The changes have made a busy time of year even busier.

"Certainly this year we're had more calls about how they might be able to offset those changes," Buehler told us.

According to Buehler some are doubling their giving this year to take advantage of the current tax laws.

"With the hope that they might be able to smooth out their charitable giving in the year or two to come...We certainly advise all individuals to make sure that they consult with their tax advisors about their specific circumstance," he explained

And for charities concerned about changes, Buehler advised them not to panic. He said they CAN control the story they put out to donors right now.

"What is the mission that's impacting all of us and why that support is so important," Buehler told us.

Buehler says the Northeast Wisconsin community is very giving. So he told FOX 11 he hopes people continue in that spirit despite what changes are to come.

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