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Charity and taxes

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  •  Tim 
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    Status: Accountant
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    Joined: 09/18/2018

    Tax policies raise funds for common good expenditures but also are used for social engineering purposes as well as humanitarian purposes and to exempt organizations as well from paying taxes.

    Where is the “common good” in social engineering?
    One benefits at the expense of another. Yes, social engineering doesn’t count as common anymore.
    Can I refuse the tax? Can I refuse the “service”?

    Somethings government doesn’t do well and needs to leave to the private sector. Period.

    #171333 Reply
     Mooks 
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    Status: Dentist
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    Joined: 04/15/2018

    Based off the events in Paris recently it seems like there are some Europeans who also don’t really care for their taxes. On a more anectodal level, I have been to plenty of European restaurants and in taxis where there is a nice discount for paying in cash. And I don’t think it is to avoid the credit card processing fees. Tax avoidance (legal or illegal) isn’t some uniquely American thing.

    #171328 Reply
     Kamban 
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    Status: Physician
    Posts: 1696
    Joined: 08/01/2016
    Tax policies raise funds for common good expenditures but also are used for social engineering purposes as well as humanitarian purposes and to exempt organizations as well from paying taxes. Where is the “common good” in social engineering?

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    People on both sides of the aisle have lost confidence in our government. We could never have been like Norway if we had found oil that the government could have claimed, and put it in a sovereign fund to use for future generations or a rainy day.

    One side thinks that if the government had found the money it would have given large tax breaks and lowered income taxes and frittered it away with a year. The other side believes that another government would have started massive social programs that would have drained the wealth even before it arrived. And both sides would have sound arguments on why they were right and the other side was wrong. But both would agree that we will never have a government that would do neither of these, but instead save it.

    We are great at raiding the piggy bank even if it is empty, hoping that grandma would put in some coins in it tomorrow.

    #171343 Reply
    Hank Hank 
    Moderator
    Status: Attorney
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    Joined: 03/27/2017
    early retirement for doctors
    I just tried to put out an argument why not all taxes are ‘bad’ and why some people may prefer to take care of their own bills before giving away so they don’t become a burden to society at the end.

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    I’m hard pressed to understand how you are more likely to be a burden to others if you are allowed to keep more of your own money.

    Who is responsible for planning for your retirement, you or the State?  If you are dependent on the State, you are by definition a burden on society.

    #171446 Reply
     mlc7 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 6
    Joined: 02/18/2018

    This is in regard to people who have credit card and other debt obligations. One should first pay for those before giving to charity. I know people who live in public housing, are covered by state health insurance (we all pay for those in taxes) and they give away $250 a month to their church.  I am happy they are generous but that should come after they can support themselves financially.

    #171462 Reply
     amphora 
    Participant
    Status: Student
    Posts: 59
    Joined: 04/20/2016

    My question was more philosophical looking for an explanation or arguments why people feel so negative when giving taxes but opposite when given to charity. Both support common things the society needs. I suspect that the main reason is the feeling that we have control or power directing money to issues we care about when giving to charity.

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    I find this to be an interesting philosophical / psychological questions — why do people have a visceral negative reaction to paying taxes and a positive reaction to charitable giving. I agree that part of it is about control as well as a feeling that charities are more accountable to donors than the government is to taxpayers.

    There’s also some cognitive dissonance in that social security and Medicare are very popular with the public but social security and Medicare taxes are no more popular than federal income tax.

     

    #171470 Reply
     Tim 
    Participant
    Status: Accountant
    Posts: 560
    Joined: 09/18/2018
    Fundrise eREIT
    There’s also some cognitive dissonance in that social security and Medicare are very popular with the public but social security and Medicare taxes are no more popular than federal income tax.

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    What I fear is that I have never known anyone that had a unpopularity with social security and medicare taxes. Questionable on the “redistribution” of income on retirement benefits but accepted as an “overall compromise”. You will have some income and some healthcare in your old age.

    Everyone gets old and everyone will at some point be eligible to retire. I have a real cognitive dissonance with someone that doesn’t at least acknowledge that social reengineering and socialism and “entitlements” are completely different. Things like “single payer healthcare for all”, “medicare for all” scare the crap out of me.  Philosopically, changing things on because it feels good is a poor excuse for “cognitive dissonance”.

     

    #171477 Reply
     Dont_know_mind 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 566
    Joined: 11/21/2017

    I am centre right. I am indifferent to giving to charity and paying more tax. Logically, I think government is a type of charity and probably more efficient than most charities. I think government services are important and don’t mind paying tax. I don’t think charitable giving is superior to paying tax.

    I agree with Kamban that tax deductibility of charitable donations should be limited. Charities are subject to misuse and the tax free status is open to being rorted. Due to the tax superiority, there is an incentive to make an organisation that projects your wish into a charity. I have no idea why universities endowments and other organisations should be tax exempt. I guess the Queen of England is tax exempt, but that’s a problem for the people of England. I actually think that no organisation should be tax exempt, charities included.

    There is the fallacy that just because you are a charity, priest, police officer, magistrate or doctor, you don’t have incentives. We all have incentives, charities and governments included.

    #171758 Reply

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