Trump Tax Reform & Charitable Donations


QUESTION:  Hi Marty,
I have been reading your blog daily for the last few years, as well as the archives. I just read your explanation of the difference between the house and senate versions of the tax cuts. The only thing that baffles me is not including charitable giving as a deduction. It seems to me that many people will stop giving what they can’t deduct. Then all these charitable organizations will then end up hat in hand pleading funds from the government. I would think it would be less expensive to the government keep charitable deductions than not.
ANSWER: Both plans keep the charitable deduction and the property tax deduction will be capped at $10,000. Your assumption that people donate simply because they get a tax deduction is wrong. All the donations of the famous millionaires like Rockefeller were before the income tax. I personally bought computers for everyone at the grade school I went to and put in the necessary educational software. I never took a deduction because something that big ends up only causing an audit.

I have never known anyone to donate large sums only because they get a deduction. Donations are typically made because you have a passion for something not because you get the deduction. Under that theory, nobody would care who you gave money to. Even when we sold my mother’s house, we donated most of the furniture and they give you a slip[ for a deduction, but it’s just not worth the hassle to use it.

The big donations that get written off are usually from estates.

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