November 22, 2005

Senate Seeks to Expand Charitable Giving Deduction

The Senate is going to take an increased charitable giving deduction into reconciliation with the House.
From the NYTimes:

Under the Senate bill, people who do not itemize deductions on their federal income tax returns would for the first time be able to deduct the amount they gave if it exceeded certain thresholds. The minimum would be $210 for individuals and $410 for married couples. Taxpayers must now itemize, instead of taking the standard deduction, if they want a tax break for their gifts.
The provision would last two years and could increase charitable giving by $1 billion a year at little cost to the government, said Patrick Lester, director of public policy for the United Way of America, the nation's largest charitable organization.

The article doesn't get into the nitty-gritty details, but it seems like a fair move. As long as donations are deductible for itemizers, they ought to also be deductible for non-itemizers.

7 Comments:

At 10:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, let's add more complexity to our tax code. Instead of doing this type of stuff, can they look at and vote on the Fair Tax bill?

 
At 1:29 AM, Anonymous paint said...

Very interesting.

Where can I learn more about the specifics?

 
At 9:06 AM, Blogger starbender said...

People should take advantage of this and help the elderly and poor
pay their OUTERAGEOUS GAS BILLS"
:)

 
At 11:40 AM, Blogger Matt G said...

Anonymous, it's absolutely true that making charitable deductions available to nonitemizers will make filing taxes more complicated for people to claim it.
But the most obvious solution to this problem is to stop trying to use the tax code to engineer social policy, not to repeal all federal taxes and replace them with a national sales tax with a rate that could reach 50%.
Anything can be made to sound "fair" or "simple" until you actually try to implement it.

 
At 3:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Umm--do you make charitible donations simply to deduct them on your taxes? I believe it was the Tax Foundation website where I read that 65% of people who give to charities or churches do not itemize. So, I don't think charitible donations would increase just because anyone could itemize. My reasons for donating money is based on compassion not taxes.

And, the 50% figure for the retail sales tax is very bogus. Do some more reading before you try to tell me that the rate could reach 50%.

 
At 4:26 PM, Blogger Matt G said...

Nothing bogus about it. Check out http://www.brookings.edu/views/papers/gale/20040812.htm . Seems crystal clear to me.

 
At 9:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a rebuttal to the Gale papers on www.fairtax.org.

 

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