Skip to content

Issue: Tax Policy


We urge members of the House and Senate to:

  • Cosponsor the Charitable Act (S. 566/H.R. 3435), which would renew and expand the charitable tax deduction for taxpayers who do not itemize deductions. The deduction allowed taxpayers to deduct up to $300 ($600 for couples) for charitable gifts during the pandemic, but it expired at the end of 2021, leading to a marked drop in small donations.


Contributions to 501(c)(3) charities such as museums are tax-deductible, incentivizing those who itemize deductions to give more. Only about ten percent of taxpayers now itemize deductions, however, and both the amount given and the number of donors were declining prior to the pandemic. Smaller gifts increased during the pandemic due to the enactment of the temporary deduction.

Deductibility of Charitable Gifts

  • Charitable giving accounts for more than one-third of museums’ operating funds.
  • The CARES Act established a limited and temporary deduction for non-itemizers at the start of the pandemic. After having declined in 2019, charitable giving increased following its enactment and dropped after it expired.
  • A universal charitable deduction democratizes giving by incentivizing all taxpayers to contribute, regardless of income.


  • Bipartisan bills have been introduced in both the House and the Senate to renew and expand the universal charitable deduction. They are modeled on H.R. 1704 and S. 618 in the last Congress, which temporarily renewed the deduction and expanded it to over $4,000 for individuals and over $8,000 for couples.
  • Senators who wish to cosponsor should contact the offices of James Lankford (R-OK) or Chris Coons (D-DE). Representatives should contact the office of Blake Moore (R-UT) or Danny Davis (D-IL).

Facts and Figures

More information on how the giving increased while the “universal charitable deduction” was in effect, and dropped when it expired, is available is available here with a detailed one-pager here.

» Tax Policy Printable PDF

» See all Policy Issues

Supporting Letters and Testimony

AAM Member-Only Content

AAM Members get exclusive access to premium digital content including:

  • Featured articles from Museum magazine
  • Access to more than 1,500 resource listings from the Resource Center
  • Tools, reports, and templates for equipping your work in museums
Log In

We're Sorry

Your current membership level does not allow you to access this content.

Upgrade Your Membership

Subscribe to Field Notes!

Packed with stories and insights for museum people, Field Notes is delivered to your inbox every Monday. Once you've completed the form below, confirm your subscription in the email sent to you.

If you are a current AAM member, please sign-up using the email address associated with your account.

Are you a museum professional?

Are you a current AAM member?

Success! Now check your email to confirm your subscription, and please add to your safe sender list.