Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My thoughts on Charitable donations

So some guy facebooked about this news story saying that charitable donations shouldn't be tax deductions.  At first I was a little defensive.  You know I count on getting a little bit back every February and I appreciate it.  But what if the government kept that money and didn't allow me to count it as a tax deduction?  Two thoughts:

  1. That would probably really help get our nation out of debt.  Imagine all the charitable tax deductions that if the government were able to keep how much more revenue that would be, and hopefully that could be used to reduce the deficit. 
  2. Why do you give to charity?  I would imagine that most people don't give to charity BECAUSE it's a tax deduction, but because they feel supportive of the organization they're donating to.  The tax deduction is a little perk, but if that perk were taken away, would it remove the incentive to donate?  Maybe for those who are on the fence about it.  But those who feel strongly about their charity of choice would still donate.  
In my case, I pay 10% to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Some argue that it isn't a charity and that its a flat rate percentage and mandatory.  Mandatory?  Define mandatory.  Would I lose my membership in the church, No.  Would I be branded on my forehead that I'm a non-tithe member? No.  Would I have a temple recommend.  No, but if I wasn't paying tithing, I wouldn't expect to either.  It takes faith to believe in what the temple represents, just as it take faith to pay tithing.  So it's absurd to feel robbed of temple blessings by not having a recommend because I wasn't paying tithing.  Everyone who pays tithing does so out of choice.  The church doesn't have the right to automatically take money out of my account.  So the argument that it's mandatory is ridiculous.  

If the government decided to remove tax deductions on charitable donations, I wouldn't freak out.  I'm not sure if members of the church in other countries with different tax laws are given the same incentive to pay their tithing, and they still pay it.  It takes faith to pay tithing, and not getting that perk of a hefty tax refund every February would make the faith to continue to pay more significant and I believe the blessings would be also more powerful.   

What are your thoughts?

No comments: