Why tax deduction for charitable donations count

  • Article by: Sarah Caruso and Jon Pratt
  • Updated: August 26, 2013 - 8:36 AM

Giving to nonprofits is an expression of citizen choice, and it offers an excellent return on investment.

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TreetoplevelAug. 25, 13 9:20 PM

Tax deductions for charities are huge distortions, which we would be much better off without. The politics on this one are tricky, but if sufficient stress is made on how much more they benefit the upper middle class (the 10%) at the expense of the 90%, perhaps a gradual reduction of the maximum deduction per year would be politically feasible. Non-profits and charities is an easily exploited loophole, which badly needs to be closed, no matter how many priests may complain. Harvard needs to be taxed like any other rich corporation.

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ruphinaAug. 26, 1312:45 AM

Non profits need to go away- period. I your money is derived from gifts, there should be no tax and no deduction. If your money comes as payment for services rendered, you should be taxed like the business you are. The tradeoff of donors to real charities losing their tax write-off is easily offset by not subsidizing all those advocacy groups and think tanks and lobbyists, AND the removal of all of those rules and hoops for charities, AND being able to can a whole chunk of the IRS and burn a whole bunch of tax code pages. Bill G.

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jim2011beamAug. 26, 13 1:13 AM

I certainly don't mind when a wealthy alum donates millions to Harvard (or Yale or Princeton) or when the Clinton's tap their friends for big donations to the Clinton Charitable Foundation. That's all nice and good. But I do understand that the big tax deductions given to those donors means that your middle class taxes and my middle class taxes must be higher. When the Federal Government needs $100 to operate but gives tax deductions of $20 to a few then the rest of us pay the $100 not the $80 that we would have paid if there was no tax deduction. Eliminating the charitable deduction in no way prevents or limits donations to any charitable organization.

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borisbadenovAug. 26, 13 6:36 AM

If you want to help someone you can bet your dollar to charity will go a lot further to help than giving another dollar to government.

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jdelmarAug. 26, 1310:02 AM

The Federal Tax system is a cobbled together mess that, like the weather, everyone complains about but no one does anything to change. If we were able to start with a clean sheet I think that most would agree with the authors premise that government cannot address the needs perceived to be important to every community and while lobbyists and economists will vehemently advocate to incentivize behavior; I think that the best incentive for addressing a communities need within the community is low federal tax rate.

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gandalf48Aug. 26, 1311:01 AM

Remove all charity deductions, if people want to donate their money to charity why should it matter if it's pre-tax or post-tax? Besides these tax breaks are largely used by higher income people who can afford to simply give away their income.

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Start Moving AheadAug. 26, 1311:08 AM

The Democrats always say that people do not make decisions based on tax consequences so it shouldn't matter. But that's just rehtoric from people who want others to pay more taxes. This is an example of one person's fair deduction being seen as a loop hole by another person. And both people are right. The income tax system should be replaced with 3 or 4 tiers of flat taxes with no deductions and only personal exemptions. Fed rates 5% 10% 15% and MN state rates of 2% 4% 6%. This would be more progressive, more fair, and more efficient.

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markerminnAug. 26, 13 4:44 PM

If charitable deductions are eliminated it will not be the "rich" that suffer, it will be those that benefit from the non-profits' services. I get no personal benefit from my contributions to non-profits. In fact, by law I cannot receive a personal benefit and still get a deduction. Take away the deduction and non-profits will shrink, the government will step in to fill the void, and taxes will go up to fund the larger government. AND it will all be less efficient. Just what the liberals want: more government and government making all the decisions. That would be wrong on so many levels, not least of which would be that every program benefiting those in need would be subject to the 2 year federal budget cycle. No one could plan anything our count on anything!

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garagewineAug. 28, 13 1:11 AM

"Remove all charity deductions, if people want to donate their money to charity why should it matter if it's pre-tax or post-tax"---Because they will donate more if they know it is pre-tax.

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