Tax Deductions

In many countries, if you make a deduction to a charity, the amount of the donation is subtracted from your income, so you don’t pay tax on it. Churches and televangelists are considered charities even if they do no charitable activities. However, groups that lobby or promote candidates do not get a deduction. In fact, any charity that lobbies or promotes a candidate or party is in danger of losing its tax exempt status.

I think it should work this way: If a charity spends 75% of its budget on charitable works, then its donations should be 75% tax deductible. Churches are not charities. There was a time a century ago when they were. They acted as community centre and counseling centre, they cared for the sick and cared for the indigent. They should only continue to be tax deductible to the extent they still do charitable works that might otherwise fall on the shoulders of the government.

Let’s say a charity was dedicated to the preservation of wetlands. They should be free to endorse candidates who support those goals, without fear of losing their tax exempt status. Similarly a church that did some charitable works would not fear loss partial tax exempt status just because the pastor commanded everyone to vote Republican or face hellfire. So in summary tax exemption is a reward for only charitable works, not for remaining silent about political preferences, not for spreading religious twaddle.

~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)