Changes in the Charitable Deduction Don’t Have to Mean Losses for Charities

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Brian Mittendorf  has a nicely written article with an important message at http://philanthropy.com, March 13. The above title summarizes it. I like the idea of a tax credit, instead of a deduction, for charitable contributions. It would have to be revenue-neutral for starters, because of the politics of it. But it would indeed create more of a constituency for charitable giving. By the way, the author alludes to the fact that any tax break (short of a credit of more than 100%) is not a motivation for giving. You still lose money on the deal, so to speak. Tax breaks only enable you to give more than you otherwise would. I mention this because I do a lot of work in Latin America, where civil society organizations frequently blame the lack of tax breaks for the anemic giving of individuals. No, it’s a matter of the differences between cultures, as I point out in my previous posting.

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