A proposal to limit charitable deductions would be devastating for churches, religious organizations and other nonprofits if adopted by the federal government, says a Southern Baptist church-state expert.

Leaders in both political parties have suggested further restricting charitable deductions for at least some Americans who itemize on their tax returns as a way of helping avert the “fiscal cliff” facing the country Jan. 1. Without congressional action, the tax cuts implemented under President George W. Bush will expire on that date, producing about $7 trillion in tax increases. At the same time, inaction will result in sequestration — automatic cuts to defense and non-defense spending of $55 billion each.

The idea of capping the charitable deduction “is as serious a threat to religious organizations as anything the federal government has done in recent decades,” said Richard Land, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC).

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