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IRS: Number of charities and deductions rise

(Feb. 2002) WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released statistics over the past few weeks that highlight the growth of charities in the U.S. as well as the increase in the number of deductions taken by taxpayers.

The IRS reported that taxpayers claimed $125.8 billion in charitable deductions in 1999. It represents a 15.2 percent increase from the $109.2 billion claimed in 1998.

As the IRS continues to analyze data, these figures mark the fourth straight year that charitable deductions rose by 10 percent or more. Officials at the IRS credit the continued increase to the growing number of non-cash gifts, which increased from 1998 to 1999 by 30.9 percent.

These figures include strictly individual deductions and do not include deductions by corporations and foundations. According to the Giving USA report, published by The AAFRC Trust for Philanthropy, total charitable contributions in the U.S. reached $203.45 billion for 2000, an increase of 6.6 percent over 1999.

'We are encouraged that more and more Americans are giving to charities,' said Paulette V. Maehara, CFRE, CAE, president & CEO of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). 'We expect this trend to continue as Congress works to enact even more charitable giving incentives in the coming weeks.'

In the same report, the IRS released data highlighting the growth in the number of charities from 1997 to 1998. The number increased from 198,957 in 1997 to 207,273 in 1998, an increase of 4.2 percent. This data does not include the more than 600,000 charities with gross receipts less than $25,000 that did not file returns.

This data can be found in an IRS publication, entitled, 'Statistics of Income Bulletin,' published in fall 2001. Copies of the publication can be purchased for $34 from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954.

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