If you donate to nonprofits in Missouri, you could see a new benefit on your next tax return.
State lawmakers have passed a bill that would expand tax credits for donations to soup kitchens, diaper banks and homeless shelters who hope it will lead to more donations throughout the year.
John Crouch, a Certified Public Accountant from Farmington, says HB1288 could give taxpayers between 50 to 70 cents back for every dollar the spend helping a local 501(c)3 organizations.
Crouch believes it will encourage longtime donors and new donors to support places they need it most.
"Your dollar can go a long way, a lot further than a typical dollar spent," Crouch said. "As people get more comfortable with the concept, how it works and see it work they're willing to give more."
Keith Lathan has knows firsthand the impact donations have on people who need help getting back on their feet. Lathan was homeless but now lives at the 'Amen Center' and describes the shelter as a support group that has helped him get a job and access health care.
"People think this is a homeless shelter, but it's much more than that," Lathan said. "You walk in the door and you immediately feel the love from everybody. Not just one certain person. Everybody wants to stand on their own two feet and this place gets you there."
Danny and Shirley Hollowell own and operate the nonprofit shelter which currently has 34 residents but can house up to 90 adults and children.
The owners say they're grateful for all the donations of food, clothing, time and money that help keep the shelter running.
"There are people who are very compassionate around Christmas time. They're so giving, so willing to help," Mrs. Hollowell said. "This time of year it slows down a little bit, but the people here still have to eat. They still have needs. We have to buy gas to get them back and forth to work. We still have to pay bills."
Hollowell believes the tax credits could encourage donors to be more generous if they get back a percentage of what they give.
"If this happens then the people will feel led to give more and in turn help more which is, in turn, going to help Amen Center so much more," Mrs. Hollowell said.
Lina Moton says living at the homeless shelter changed her life and has inspired her to give back by helping others.
"What keeps me here is the love for people and to see them grow," Moton said. "To see them get on their feet I mean that is a good feeling that is unexplainable and it's because of people donating, and I want to let them know their money is not being wasted."
Lawmakers in both the House and the Senate have passed the tax credit bill and it awaits the governor's signature.