"Charitable Deduction was Always Aimed Primarily at Benefiting 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," states an article in Vox.

According to this piece,

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.

However, a paper published recently in Business History Review argues that throughout its 100-year history, "the charitable deduction was always aimed primarily at benefiting the rich."

“The contribution deduction was created to protect voluntary giving to public goods by rich industrialists who had made their fortunes in business,” the paper argues according to Vox.

How the charitable deduction is enacted matters, as Vox writes. "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."

Read here the article.

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