Boosting charity – Big impact seen

The Bush administration should expand its charity-tax proposals to allow taxpayers to deduct their charitable contributions up to April 15 or the time they file their taxes, an expert says.

“The best time to promote the charitable deduction is when people are filing, so tax return preparers would have a strong inducement to show their clients how they could immediately save taxes, even penalties, by giving more to charity,” Eugene Steuerle, senior fellow at the Urban Institute, says in an opinion column published May 10 in the Financial Times.

Such treatment already is allowed for deposits to investment retirement accounts, or IRAs, and to Keogh retirement plans, he says, adding that the net impact on giving would “surely be significant.”

The Bush administration already has proposed giving a tax deduction for individuals who don’t itemize deductions on their returns, and giving a tax break for giving from IRAs, Steuerle noted.

For full column, go to Financial Times.

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