Comments about ‘Obama, Congress consider cutting deductions for donations to charities, churches’

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Published: Tuesday, Oct. 18 2011 9:00 a.m. MDT

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In coming across a few of your comments, it seems clear that you view tax breaks for charitible contributions as a gift from the government, as though they are just giving you money you haven't already earned to incentivize you to give to charity.

This type of flawed thinking is something I'm sure the government would be very pleased with.

One of the greatest things about our nation is the generosity of its people. Our citizens donate more to charity than any other country on the planet. The idea of the government penalizing that charity by dipping into what we're not even keeping for ourselves makes me sick to my stomach.

Maybe our government should prove they know how to responsibly spend the money they already take before they start stealing more of it.

Saint George, UT

I have not read the actual proposal. However, if this article is correct then passing a law like this could be a catastrophe for all charities. Seems counter intuitive to the idea of sharing the load. Could very well be the final nail in Obama's political coffin. I can only assume that there is some huge PAC money being thrown at this to explain any defense of such a horrible piece of legislation. Talk about adding fuel to the OCCUPY movement. First, kick the little guy, then take away his only shelter. It's time for citizens to rise and take back our country from all those who seek only power and money. Major Wall Street reform is needed as well as a fundamental shift in how politicians are held accountable to the citizens. PAC control equals political control. How long will it be before we as a country realize that there has already been a corporate takeover of our country?

Cedar City, UT

The government will ALWAYS make the people suffer first for it "cuts" or increases. Why not just eliminate the useless income tax, then we would have plenty of money for charitable giving. You think the Dems care about you? Think again.

Heber City, UT

This is a complicated issue and not a simple decision of good vs. bad.

I'd have no problem eliminating the tax deductions to churches and requiring those charities that directly help to do so under some formula for funds utilization. While some charities may give 90% (The LDS church's record has been exemplary in this regard) many do not and use the charity as a mechanism to funnel huge salaries and benefits to very few.

I believe churches should lose their tax exempt status altogether as well. No property tax, no income tax...this lead to the invention of Scientology. Let's eliminate it.

For those who oppose the idea of eliminating this "deduction", you will have to reconcile that with the ardent support with a flat tax, the 9-9-9 plan and a national sales tax (of the FAIR tax...ironically named). None of those plans will provide a tax haven for charity.

South Jordan, UT

Let's not pretend this article is about anything other than trying to convince people that religions are charities.


As a tax profession I am adverse to the idea of eliminating the deduction for charitable contributions. Would I would like to see are non-profits that have mandatory contributions (i.e a tithe) should be taxed on the contributions they receive. Research foundations and aid foundations would be exempt form reporting such incomes as the contributions they receive are discretionary.


No more tax deductions for shopping malls!

Cedar Hills, UT

but wait ... aren't the demo-rats the "compassionate party"??? Yes the same party that is trying to kill charitable contributions as well as cut 500 billion from medicare to fund Obamacare. I think most folks would agree to do without that upside down compassion!! Dem's are such hypocrites!!

metamora, IL

One important element that many are forgetting is that the families that have 4, 5 or 10 kids (especially those in Utah) are also likely to grow up to be taxpayers too. They will be the ones who will have to support the rest of us when the government files bankruptcy for out of control spending on useless pork barrel projects.

American Fork, UT

If charity is about tax deduction, it isn't charity at all.

Provo, UT

I have an idea... how about before we start cutting deductions we get Obama's several cabinet members and cronies to start paying their taxes first. That seems like a good place to start.

If they get rid of the charitable donations deduction, it wouldn't affect me in the least. I'd continue to donate to my favorite charities and to my church just as always. I don't do it for the deduction; I do it because it's the right thing to do.

West Haven, Utah

TheAthiest -

As one Tax Professional to another: What happens when the non-profit doesn't have mandatory contributions (i.e. a tithe)? As an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I can either pay tithing or decide not to. It's up to me - and up to each member. I will never be excommunicated for lack of tithing payment (although I wouldn't be eligible to attend the temple). If I choose to live the Law of Tithing as I understand it, does that mean paying tithing to my church is a 'mandatory contribution'? No - the funds are as discretionary as those for Research and Aid foundations. And, knowing how tax law changes, what happens if personal income tax does revoke the deduction for charitable contributions? I wouldn't think you'd be in favor of double-taxation (once personally, once through the church). Finally, why is this only a problem for you when a church is involved? You might be an Athiest, but everyone doesn't see things the same way you do. What do you think - would it be fair to assess a tax on everyone contributing to Atheism? If not, your thinking is biased.

Murray, Utah

For all of those scathing accusations against the LDS church and tithing; consider this-

All of the jobs that the LDS church has including a very good insurance and benefits program. Including building consrtuction, upkeep and general office jobs.

Subsidized schooling- I am sure Occupy wallstreet would appreciate this.

Buying cars, equipment and other furnishing for chapels and temples.

Airfair to all those visits all over the world.

I know this is very capitalistic for all you dems/commies but this is all purchased with tithing money. It is a economic stimulus and provides jobs all over the world.

This is in addition to the humanitarian aid, perpetual education, missionary fund and fast offerings that we use to keep our members off the goverment dole. You're welcome USA for the LDS church's ability to take care of their own so the goverment doesn't have to!

Washington, UT

Obama is a marxist. Marxism is hostile to religion and wants all things to come from the state, not from individuals, groups, or churches. So it is no surprise to see him pushing this kind of nonsense...most everything he's pushed has been Marxist at its core. Please remove this guy from the white house in 2012.


Reply: Abeille

I am not biased against the Church. You presented me holding a position that I do not. Your logical fallacies aside, whether or not you choose to recognize it, you receive a service for your donation to the church. Abeille, as you stated you are only eligible for a temple recommend while paying a tithe, in hand, a good or service for your donation.

Once again, atheism has nothing to do with this discussion and yes if an atheist foundation were to render a service for the donation it receives then it shouldn't be tax exempt. Furthermore, I would like you to point out anywhere in my post where I stated that the donors should not receive a deduction for their contributions. I stated that the receiving entity should be taxed.

If you chose to reply, please do not address positions I do not hold.


Reply: Abeille

Also quick note as I ran out of room, I used churches as an example as they are the most common example of a entity receiving donations in exchange for goods or services.

Engineering Econ
Loudon, TN

Essentially our president wants the government to have more power and private citizens & organizations to have less. This is simply a transfer of power that I'm strongly opposed to. What he is suggesting will not strengthen our nation. The proposal suggests that government expenditures are superior to the work of charitable organizations and that the government is better able to spend the wealth created by its citizens than so-called do-gooders. I believe that the more power & control that the government obtains, the higher the likelihood that corrupt individuals will seek & obtain positions of authority within the organization. This is not a direction I have. There needs to be a balance of power among the government, other organizations, & individual citizens. Let's not shift even more control to the organization that is the worst at managing its resources.

Syracuse, UT

Every idea Obama comes up with means I pay more in taxes.


@Rainman - I am not certain you clearly understand the current tax code. Assuming you have the average American who pays zero income taxes. Obama has cut the one tax you pay on all of you wages, again assuming you are a average income earner. Obama made cuts to social security/medicare taxes and his job plan which for the record, I did not agree with was to cut the tax even further. I believe to 3.2% I could be wrong on the exact number, however under Bush you were paying 7.65% of your wages into ss/mc taxes.

Engineering Econ
Loudon, TN

Correction, "This is not the direction we want to go."

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