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Mon Sep 9, 2019, 08:56 PM

I don't itemize my taxes so I had completely missed this Trump cruelty

Because I don't itemize I haven't paid attention to what Trump's tax bill did to charitable donations.

There is an outfit that advertises on the local progressive radio station (AM 950, KTNF) that takes car donations. Lately, it has been begging (literally) for donations. This outfit revamps the cars and then donates them to women's shelters or other charities that will get the cars to someone who really needs one. They've said that the change in the tax law has drastically reduced the number of cars they are getting.

Every year my employer runs a fall fundraising event for local charities (mostly United Way). I'm on my department's committee for it. One of the other committee members, "Jane", has always donated a pair of Vikings tickets for the drawing. We sell tickets for $1 each, last year we made almost $700 just on this and Jane & her husband got a tax write off. This year they won't be donating because they can't get the write off so any tickets they can't use, they will sell them on Stub Hub & probably get quite a bit more than face value. She also mentioned that they traded in a car this year and, even though they only got $1,200 in trade, it "wasn't worth" donating it.

Yes, this woman is a Republican.

So, as the rich get richer, and the working & middle classes stagnate and social programs get their funding cut, the private charities Republicans tell us can and should take care of holes in the safety net, also start hurting because those who can donate money or goods won't if there isn't something in it for them.

I swear there is an office in the Trump White House that is dedicated to finding ways to hurt people in any way possible.

32 replies, 2947 views

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Arrow 32 replies Author Time Post
Reply I don't itemize my taxes so I had completely missed this Trump cruelty (Original post)
dflprincess Sep 9 OP
blm Sep 9 #1
Demovictory9 Sep 9 #7
smirkymonkey Sep 9 #2
sharedvalues Sep 9 #3
dsc Sep 9 #4
question everything Sep 9 #5
dflprincess Sep 9 #6
uponit7771 Sep 9 #8
AllyCat Sep 9 #9
IronLionZion Sep 9 #10
Lulu KC Sep 10 #16
IronLionZion Sep 10 #17
Lulu KC Sep 10 #18
Lulu KC Sep 10 #23
IronLionZion Sep 11 #29
Lulu KC Sep 11 #30
trickyguy Sep 9 #11
James48 Sep 9 #12
maddiemom Sep 10 #15
pnwmom Sep 9 #13
progree Sep 10 #14
DeminPennswoods Sep 10 #19
dflprincess Sep 10 #22
at140 Sep 10 #26
mia Sep 10 #20
mia Sep 10 #21
Lulu KC Sep 11 #32
Lulu KC Sep 10 #24
KentuckyWoman Sep 10 #25
Hoyt Sep 10 #27
Doreen Sep 10 #28
Lulu KC Sep 11 #31

Response to dflprincess (Original post)

Mon Sep 9, 2019, 09:01 PM

1. Heard a few months ago that overall charitable donations are down 54billion

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Response to blm (Reply #1)

Mon Sep 9, 2019, 10:04 PM

7. Omg

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Response to dflprincess (Original post)

Mon Sep 9, 2019, 09:02 PM

2. Grrrr!

Hate him so much!

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Response to dflprincess (Original post)

Mon Sep 9, 2019, 09:12 PM

3. Correct and the deduction for the super rich is intact!

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Response to dflprincess (Original post)

Mon Sep 9, 2019, 09:25 PM

4. It was a big hit

First, it lowered rates so it lowered the amount saved by the donation (all tax cuts for the rich do that). But worse it combined the exemptions and the standard deduction into a big standard deduction. Before, one only needed to have deductions of over 12,700 for a married couple or 6350 for a single person before the deductions started mattering. Basically, own a house and you were well on your way. Now those figures are 24,000 for a couple or 12,000 for a single person or close to twice as much. It should be noted that the exemption in 2017 was 4050 per person so a couple was shielding 20,800 and a single person 10,400 but only the deduction part needed to be exceeded to make writing of donations matter. These people who were donating likely saw fairly large tax increases plus not having the deduction without massively increasing giving.

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Response to dflprincess (Original post)

Mon Sep 9, 2019, 09:53 PM

5. Don't have a car to donate but will check for monetary donation

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Response to question everything (Reply #5)

Mon Sep 9, 2019, 10:03 PM

6. That was my thought as well.

This the website http://autotechnical.org/

Though it does sound like what they really need is cars. But maybe if they get enough donations they can buy some and fix them up.

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Response to dflprincess (Original post)

Mon Sep 9, 2019, 10:24 PM

8. K&R, We figured this would start pretty quickly

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Response to dflprincess (Original post)

Mon Sep 9, 2019, 10:48 PM

9. Yep. We still donate to charity because we hope someone can use what we can't or don't.

But I don’t even bother filling out the donation forms. Tre45on to the rescue!...(of rich people)

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Response to dflprincess (Original post)

Mon Sep 9, 2019, 10:54 PM

10. President Trump's Tax Law Has Made Americans Less Generous, Charities Say

https://time.com/5609173/americans-giving-to-charity-trump-tax-law/

The annual decrease is in the billions overall. And it looks like churches are getting much less donations too.

Only about 18 million taxpayers itemized in 2018 down from 46.5 million the year before, according to estimates from the nonpartisan Joint Committee on Taxation. About 88% of filers last year took the standard deduction, which means they couldn’t write off their donations.


I itemize because I have a lot of unreimbursed business expenses. Also donated a bunch of stuff from moving.

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Response to IronLionZion (Reply #10)

Tue Sep 10, 2019, 05:48 AM

16. But aren't unreimbursed business expenses gone, too?

As a deduction?

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Response to Lulu KC (Reply #16)

Tue Sep 10, 2019, 07:31 AM

17. Some deductions are gone, some are still there

Lobbyists made sure to have theirs kept safe, but many deductions that lower income people use are gone.

Losing the deduction for moving expenses was particularly painful, but they kept the mortgage interest deduction since it benefits wealthier homeowners. Younger workers, urban people, minorities, and contractors move more often than Trump supporters who have often never left their hometown.

12 Tax Deductions That Disappeared This Year
https://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/taxes/articles/tax-deductions-that-disappeared-this-year

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Response to IronLionZion (Reply #17)

Tue Sep 10, 2019, 09:57 AM

18. I did a lot of research on this for my employer

in January and we decided to go with an accountable plan.

I have to run now, but I'm taking another look. This is an example of what popped up when I just did a Google.

https://tax.thomsonreuters.com/blog/can-employees-take-a-tax-deduction-for-unreimbursed-business-expenses/

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Response to IronLionZion (Reply #10)

Tue Sep 10, 2019, 10:43 PM

23. I went back and looked (and I know this is a tangent)

--and found IRS publication 529 with this info. So if you fall into the protected categories, great! It also said something about teachers.

Unreimbursed Employee Expenses

You can no longer claim a deduction for unreimbursed employee expenses unless you fall into one of the following categories of employment, or have certain qualified educator expenses.

Armed Forces reservists.
Qualified performing artists.
Fee-basis state or local government officials.
Employees with impairment-related work expenses.

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Response to Lulu KC (Reply #23)

Wed Sep 11, 2019, 06:48 AM

29. I drive to different cities for work

sometimes fly and stay in a hotel and rent a car, but otherwise I drive a lot of miles and deduct it.

https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc511

Deductible travel expenses while away from home include, but aren't limited to, the costs of:

Travel by airplane, train, bus or car between your home and your business destination. (If you're provided with a ticket or you're riding free as a result of a frequent traveler or similar program, your cost is zero.)
Fares for taxis or other types of transportation between the airport or train station and your hotel, the hotel and the work location, and from one customer to another, or from one place of business to another.
Shipping of baggage, and sample or display material between your regular and temporary work locations.
Using your car while at your business destination. You can deduct actual expenses or the standard mileage rate, as well as business-related tolls and parking fees. If you rent a car, you can deduct only the business-use portion for the expenses.
Meals and lodging.
Dry cleaning and laundry.
Business calls while on your business trip. (This includes business communications by fax machine or other communication devices.)
Tips you pay for services related to any of these expenses.
Other similar ordinary and necessary expenses related to your business travel. (These expenses might include transportation to and from a business meal, public stenographer's fees, computer rental fees, and operating and maintaining a house trailer.)

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Response to IronLionZion (Reply #29)

Wed Sep 11, 2019, 08:37 AM

30. Good to know--thanks

Amazing, the tips that are buried in DU.

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Response to dflprincess (Original post)

Mon Sep 9, 2019, 11:09 PM

11. Yes, the office dedicated to finding ways to hurt people has a name on it:

it's Stephen Miller.

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Response to trickyguy (Reply #11)

Mon Sep 9, 2019, 11:17 PM

12. Exactly.

When he dies, I have a feeling there is a very special place being held for Mr. Stephen Miller.


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Response to trickyguy (Reply #11)

Tue Sep 10, 2019, 12:05 AM

15. Probably.

Apparently Miller is one of those "geniuses" with an unfortunately warped mind. Charm certainly can't explain his success, which reduces his E.Q,(emotional quotient) to single digits. It must be his unattractive physical appearance. What else could explain his mean spiritedness? He's certainly no Stephen Hawkings, stricken with ALS at about twenty, but going on to use his brain in positive ways, and having a normal family. Miller should thank his lucky star: if he were handsome, Trump would have HATED him on first sight.

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Response to dflprincess (Original post)

Mon Sep 9, 2019, 11:34 PM

13. I've been worried about this! I bet this is happening to all the nonprofits. n/t

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Response to dflprincess (Original post)

Tue Sep 10, 2019, 12:03 AM

14. A few tax strategies for making donations and still getting a tax benefit

One option is to set up a Donor Advised Fund, where you make a big contribution to it in one year so that your total deductions go way past the standard deduction line. You are then allowed to actually distribute from your DAF to whatever charities over as many years you like. (You deduct on Schedule A in the year you contribute to the DAF, not in the years you distribute to charities from it).

Another is just simply make some huge gifts in one year (again so you blow past the standard deduction), and then be a grinch for the next few years.

Another idea - take IRA and 401k required minimum distributions via Qualified Charitable Distributions (QCDs) and pay no taxes on the distributions (neither does the charity you gift these to). This is a way to get a tax break without itemizing deductions on Schedule A. (This strategy applies only to those over age 70 1/2)

Or, give away appreciated assets like stock funds, and avoid paying capital gain taxes (the charity doesn't pay the capital gains taxes either). Another way to get a tax break without itemizing deductions on Schedule A.

Consider bigger political donations to candidates and political organizations -- these weren't deductible before (and aren't deductible now either) -- getting the right people in office and the laws fixed may do more for the people we seek to benefit with our charitable giving than giving to charities.

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Response to dflprincess (Original post)

Tue Sep 10, 2019, 10:02 AM

19. The standard deduction is now 12,000 for an individual

If you gave over the std deduction of 6000ish, then you could itemize. Now anything up to 12k is just the std deduction. It's really makes no difference to charitable giving under that amount.

Give to a charity because you believe in it or believe in doing good, not to get a tax break.

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Response to DeminPennswoods (Reply #19)

Tue Sep 10, 2019, 06:28 PM

22. RE: Your last sentence,

Exactly!

As I said, I've never itemized so it hasn't affected my giving. I'd up my game but my nieces and nephews still need help with some expenses.

BTW ages 65 and over get an extra $1000 on the standard deduction. I was surprised to discover that last year

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Response to DeminPennswoods (Reply #19)

Tue Sep 10, 2019, 11:03 PM

26. I am with you...have been giving to Salvation Army for decades

and taking standard deduction for decades. I live by the Bohemian ethic...don't buy it if can't pay cash for it.

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Response to dflprincess (Original post)

Tue Sep 10, 2019, 10:17 AM

20. The 2017 Republican tax bill was designed to benefit charitable deductions made by the rich.

The way the charitable tax deduction is set up, lower-income Americans can’t really take advantage of it. Unless you earn a lot of money, it makes no financial sense to do your taxes in a way that lets you claim the charitable deduction. The 2017 Republican tax bill made even fewer Americans eligible for the charitable deduction by hiking the standard deduction. Critics responded that they’d made the tax deduction a deduction just for the rich....


Do we mean to be a society that subsidizes giving by the rich while taxing giving by everybody else? The report convincingly argues that when the deduction was introduced, yes, that’s exactly what we meant to do. It’s less clear that most Americans or even most policymakers endorse those side effects of our tax code today.

And it would be possible to do better. The US could revise our laws to do away with the charitable deduction and give a uniform credit for charitable contribution so the rich and the poor get the same amount of money back from the government when they donate. (Canada does something similar to this.) This was actually considered during the debate over the 2017 tax bill but didn’t make it into the final version. (Charitable donations do seem to respond to tax incentives, so depending how this was done it could either increase or decrease charitable giving.)

If we want to incentivize philanthropy, incentivizing philanthropy only from rich people is an absurd way to go about it, a leftover vestige of an attitude about billionaire giving that no one — even its proponents — really endorses anymore. We owe it to taxpayers and nonprofits alike to do better.


https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2019/9/3/20840955/charitable-deduction-tax-rich-billionaire-philanthropy

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Response to dflprincess (Original post)

Tue Sep 10, 2019, 10:22 AM

21. Bundling and Bunching

...One way that high-net-worth or large contributors can continue to take advantage of itemizing and exceed the higher $24,000 standard deduction is a technique called bundling or bunching, which involves making several years of donations at one time and taking the higher donation in that year, then not donating and taking the standard deductions in other years.

This can be done by creating a donor-advised fund (DAF) or a designated fund. Each requires a $10,000 minimum donation to get started.

The DAF maximizes tax benefits and retains flexibility. A donor manages all of their giving through one account and supports multiple organizations and programs based on their charitable goals. With the designated fund, a donor supports a specific charitable organization or organizations that automatically receive a grant from the fund annually....

“Many advisors told me that one of the biggest benefits of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was that last year, clients and their tax, legal, and financial advisors discussed charitable giving more than ever before,” he wrote. “Clients wanted to understand the implications of the tax law changes. Consequently, because these conversations took place earlier than usual and throughout the year, more donor-advised fund accounts were opened and funded sooner. The size of the accounts that were created and the additional donations to already-established accounts increased substantially.”


https://columbiametro.com/article/the-giving-dilemma/

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Response to mia (Reply #21)

Wed Sep 11, 2019, 08:44 AM

32. Encouraging

As a friend said to me, "Just because someone's rich doesn't mean they don't have values."

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Response to dflprincess (Original post)

Tue Sep 10, 2019, 10:45 PM

24. What bothers me about this

is the thing of being motivated by deductible expenses. I know, so Pollyannaesque, but don't people just want to give because it's the right thing to do if you have more than you need?
This is not my planet.

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Response to dflprincess (Original post)

Tue Sep 10, 2019, 10:56 PM

25. I spent a lot of years doing personal/business taxes for the "Jane" types

I have yet to meet anyone affluent that gives just for the giving. If they think they'll come out ahead in some way then they'll do it - and only then.

Low income people do it constantly. You need, I have.. here... no questions.

I would assume there are exceptions but in 50+ years of doing taxes I never met one.

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Response to KentuckyWoman (Reply #25)

Tue Sep 10, 2019, 11:09 PM

27. They don't really come out "ahead." If a wealthy person gives $100K, they still have

roughly $70,000 less money after factoring in any tax savings.

Most lower income people come out roughly the same after a small charitable contribution under the new tax laws. It’s just obscured by higher standard deduction.

With that said, trump’s tax cut was a major mistake.

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Response to dflprincess (Original post)

Tue Sep 10, 2019, 11:35 PM

28. Just my opinion.

When you donate and expect something in return like tax breaks then you are not donating at all. A donation is supposed to be helping each other because we care not to get more money at the end of the year.

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Response to Doreen (Reply #28)

Wed Sep 11, 2019, 08:42 AM

31. +1 and

it really boils down to the GOP-dominated Congress taking money away from the non-profits that pick up the fallout from their other attacks on services.
Grateful for the blue wave and ready for 2020.

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