Will Congress Effect Your Giving?

As the so-called Fiscal Cliff draws nearer, members of Congress are looking at multiple ways to increase revenue to the government. One of the ideas being considered is reducing or eliminating tax deductions for charitable gifts. Proponents argue that the government loses hundred of millions of dollars of revenue in charitable deductions, many of which are frivolous. Opponents respond that these deductions keep the churches and non-profits that do the bulk of the good work in the country and around the world in business.

Another deduction proposed for the chopping block is the adoption credit, which can be up to 12k for an adopted child. Many fear that if the deduction is removed, adoption numbers will dramatically decrease.

As a leader of a non-profit, and a Christian who gives more than 10% of my income away, and as one who plans toincrease my giving in 2013, I’m not the least bit concerned about the deductions for charitable gifts going away.

Here’s why:

  • Most of the people I know who are givers do so out of a sense of love and gratitude to God. They know God honors their worship through giving and most of them would never consider not giving. The tax break is a nice benefit to giving, but not at all why they give.
  • People who adopt kids do so because they feel called to and because they can’t not adopt. Who do you know can afford to adopt a child? It’s never about being able to afford or not afford it. So if the 12K tax break goes away, people with hearts for adoption are still going to adopt anyway.
  • Our hope has never been in tax breaks. My ability to pay my bills and feed my family has nothing to do with what my tax status is or my level of deductions. My hope for provision is in God alone. If I lose a few thousand dollars a year in tax breaks, God will still meet my needs.
  • People give because its right, not because its expedient. Giving never makes sense on a spread sheet. Few Kingdom things do. People give because it’s what Christians do, not because it’s a good tax strategy.

Please don’t read this as an endorsement of anything being proposed in Congress. I have no such agenda. I’m rather simply pointing out that God has always funded his work through the sacrificial giving of his people. And if we happen to drive off a fiscal cliff or lose some tax breaks, that’s not going to change.


©2012 Will Davis Jr.  Originally Posted on WDJ’s blog, on Nov. 27, 2012.