Panel to look at accountability of tax-exempt religious groups
A three-year probe into financial improprieties at six Christian ministries whose television preaching paid for leaders’ lush living has ended with creation of an independent panel to examine tax-exempt religious groups’ lack of accountability, The New York Times reported Jan. 7 (see tax-exempt ministries story).
Economist calls for tax credit to replace deductibility of private giving
The tax-deductibility of private donations to charities or to other civic groups represents a big and hidden tax-financed public subsidy, and if tax preferences to spur private giving are to continue, a fairer way would be to replace the current tax deductibility with a tax credit of some percentage of the donation, with the credit being the same for every donor, Uwe E. Reinhardt, an economics professor at Princeton University, wrote in a column in The New York Times on Jan. 7 (see private charity story).
Change in estate tax seen dampening bequests
Changes in the federal estate-tax system signed into law by President Obama could prompt people who had postponed charitable giving to cut back on future bequests, an estate-planning lawyer wrote in Forbes on Dec. 28 (see estate tax story).
Charitable solicitors pocked over half the funds they raise in California
A report by the state Attorney General’s Office in California says commercial fundraisers in the state raised $391.5 million in 2009, but that charities received less than 43 percent of those funds, the Sacramento Business Journal reported Dec. 27 (see charitable solicitation story).