money management

Tax Laws That Make You Go Hmm…

Many of you know that I’ve had my nose buried in a tax book the past couple months (and several upcoming months…it’s never ending! Ugh.) for the CPA Exam.

I was reviewing Charitable Contribution deductions the other day and got to thinking…why can’t this deduction be available to everyone?  Charitable Contribution deductions are only allowed for those taxpayers who itemize, and there are a lot of people who aren’t able to itemize on their tax returns.

There are several expenses that can be deducted before Adjusted Gross Income (think student loan interest) and I think Charitable Contributions should be added to this list so that everyone can benefit from donating to charity.  Why do the laws limit being generous to charities to only a select group of people?

Maybe there’s a good reason for this, and if you know what it is, please share in the comments.  I have a feeling there would be a lot more donations to charities if it became an adjustment that all taxpayers could claim on their tax returns.

I’m not bitter though. 🙂  Even though I don’t itemize and I can’t claim the deduction, I still give my fair share to charity every year.  Gotta pay it forward!


  • I completely agree!

    When I learned about this in my Individual Tax course in college, I was mad. I give to my study-abroad program, my alma mater AND a few other charities each year and definitely wish I could included it on my tax return, but since I don’t itemize, I can’t! Boo, lame.

    But still. It feels good to donate because every little bit does help! 🙂

  • I also agree. I wonder how many more people would be inclined to give more if they knew their givings directly lowered their AGI. My wife and I are finally itemizing as our tithe (10%) put us over standard deduction.

    I am no Tax guy but am I correct in seeing that in 2009 you have to make at least $114,000 (married) or $57,000 (single) to even consider itemizing a standard tithe of 10%? That is kinda steep.

    I think that if you have it in your heart to give, you should not be taxed on charitable contributions.


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