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Most Voters Favor Extending Tax Breaks for People Who Don’t Itemize

Most American voters support expanding charitable tax breaks for people who don’t itemize their taxes, according to a new survey.

In response to the pandemic, Congress enacted a tax break allowing people who don’t itemize their taxes to deduct donations to charity, something they couldn’t do previously. The current limit is $300 for individual filers and $600 for couples, but the tax break is scheduled to expire at the end of this year.

Eighty-eight percent of people who are registered to vote said they somewhat or strongly support extending that tax deduction; 74 percent somewhat or strongly support a bipartisan proposal to extend the provision and boost the maximum annual deduction to $4,000 for single people and $8,000 for couples.

The survey also found that 80 percent of registered voters believe it is very or somewhat important for public policy to focus on “finding equity-based solutions for underserved and underrepresented communities.”

TargetPoint Consulting conducted the survey December 4 through December 6. The results were drawn from 1,094 registered voters nationwide using automated telephone and mobile-app technology. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Charities and Voting

The poll also asked questions about charities and philanthropies getting involved in efforts to ensure more people vote.

Seventy-one percent of voters said it is a “good idea” to allow charities “to help members of their communities vote by providing services such as transportation on Election Day or assisting in voter-registration updates.”

Some Republican lawmakers at the state level have proposed, and in some cases enacted, legislation restricting the ways in which people and nonprofits can assist citizens attempting to vote, such as by providing food and water for people waiting in long lines at the polls.

“This poll shows that voters agree that charitable organizations of all types play an important role in the democratic process,” said Bradley Wong, director of strategic communications and public relations for Independent Sector.

Some Republican-led states have also enacted bans on donations to election offices in response to gifts from some philanthropists, including Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, saying the gifts are targeted to help Democrats. Progressives counter that such efforts aren’t partisan but rather focus on areas where Republicans have pursued measures intended to suppress voting, which tend to be Democratic strongholds.

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