Louisianans were charitable in 2018, among top 20 states for charitable giving

Louisiana residents who took itemized deductions for charitable donations on their federal income tax forms in 2016 donated $6,646 on average, according to an analysis released this month by the Washington-based Tax Foundation.

Their giving totaled the 19th highest among the 50 states and District of Columbia, the Tax Foundation reports. Nationwide, 37 million taxpayers claimed charitable deductions.

In 2016, charitable deductions in Louisiana numbered 374,240, totaling $2.5 billion, according to the analysis.

The federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was signed into law in 2017, increased the standard deduction, meaning fewer households in the future will benefit from itemizing donations to charities.

“As millions fewer households will itemize going forward, we should expect forthcoming IRS data to show fewer charitable contribution deductions,” Erica York, a Tax Foundation analyst, said in a post on the foundation’s website.

The effects on overall charitable giving, however, are uncertain, York said, because many households give to charities for reasons that are not tax-related.

Americans who took itemized deductions for charitable contributions in 2016 gave $236 billion in total, which works out to an average of $6,349 among those who took such deductions, according to the analysis.

This is a revised version of an article first published by Watchdog.org.

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