Archive for the ‘charitable giving’ Category

Congress May Not Rewrite the Tax Code in 2013, But It Could Make It Simpler

As regular readers of Tax Vox know, I don’t believe there is much chance President Obama and Congress will agree on individual broad-based tax reform in 2013. Without a deal on how much this new tax system should raise, talking about a big rewrite is futile. However, Obama and Congress still have an opportunity to do something very […]

No, Ari, The Cliff Deal Will Raise The Economic Incentive To Give To Charity

Huffington Post reports on this tweet/warning from former Bush press secretary, Ari Fleischer: I increased donations to charity in 2012. This deal limits my deductions so I, & many others, will likely donate less in 2013. Mr. Fleischer is referring to the phaseout of itemized deductions, which had temporarily expired but was reinstated by the Tax […]

How to Cut the Charitable Deduction Without Reducing Giving

If income tax deductions are capped or limited—an idea that often comes up in the debate over both the fiscal cliff and long-run tax reform—the biggest losers could well be charities. At a time when the government role in providing a safety net may shrink, many of these groups may become increasingly important.  Yet deduction […]

Is it Time to Rethink the Tax Treatment of Charitable Organizations?

Here’s a word association game: I say tax-exempt public charity. You say house of worship, soup kitchen, or university. You probably don’t think about secret back-room political operations or multi-billion dollar businesses. But you should. Increasingly, these organizations are straying from the charitable work that drove Congress to grant them tax-exempt status in the first […]

Rethinking the Way We Tax Charities and Those Who Give to Them

It is that time of year when we celebrate with family, remember all we have to be thankful for, and scramble to squeeze out those last few dollars of tax deductible charitable gifts. And that got me thinking about the tax treatment of charities and other non-profits.   It is surely true that we give […]

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2011 was another active year for America’s tax and fiscal policy; thank you for sharing it with TaxVox. As we look forward to a busy 2012, we hope you’ll remember us in your end-of-year giving. By supporting the Tax Policy Center, you can help inform the debate about America’s fiscal future. Every tax-deductible gift will […]

Solyndra, Carrots, and Sticks

A wonderfully-titled new paper—The Tragedy of the Carrots—by Boston College law professor Brian Galle got me thinking about Solyndra, the failed solar panel company that has become something of  a poster child for botched industrial policy. By now, you probably know Solyndra’s sad tale. The firm got $537 million in federal loan guarantees from the […]

Eric Cantor, Tax Increases, and Soup Kitchens

PolitiFact’s Lou Jacobson recently pointed me to a blog post by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor complaining that President Obama’s proposal to limit itemized deductions would hurt soup kitchens—and their poor clients—by inducing rich people to give less to charities. That may be true, but Cantor’s own ideas about cutting taxes would do the same […]

Not All Tax Breaks Are Created Equal

It has become fashionable (I am happy to say) for  politicians to talk about ending or at least scaling back tax subsidies. But  pols mean very different things when they say this. And new analysis by the Tax  Policy Center shows that whether they help you or not often depends on how much  money you […]

Philanthropy and the Estate Tax

When President Obama proposed to cap the value of itemized deductions at 28 percent, the philanthropic sector came out foursquare against the idea, claiming that it would decimate charitable contributions. Cutting the tax savings from gifts to charities for high-income taxpayers would raise the after-tax cost of giving and lead people to give less. For taxpayers in the 35 percent top tax bracket, the cost of giving away a dollar would jump 10 percent from 65 cents to 72 cents (ignoring any state tax savings). That would lead to perhaps a 2 percent drop in giving—about $9 billion. (Len Burman explained the math in TaxVox last year.)