November 05, 2008
Do You Write off Your Charitable Contributions on Your Taxes?
I recently received this comment while discussing what politicians give to charitable organizations (as seen on the public tax forms they have to release):
Lots of people I know don't list their tithe for taxes, since they don't want to receive an earthly reward for their giving. Paul made it pretty clear that we shouldn't be giving our money to the church for earthly status - something that a politician can't do if they are reporting their giving. It’s also something people should keep in mind when examining the records public officials.
I've heard this argument before, especially from Christians. They say they don't deduct their giving from their taxes because "they want a heavenly reward, not an earthly one." My response has always been to suggest that if they feel that way and they want to be the
best stewards possible, why don't they claim the deductions on their taxes, get some money back, and give that money away too? Seems like a good way to maximize their giving, doesn't it?
Politicians have a different issue -- they may want to hide the fact that they're giving to a specific organization. So maybe they just don't claim it on their taxes. If it's not on their taxes, then no one knows, right?
As for me, I write off everything that's permitted to be written off. My thoughts are that I'm playing by the rules of the US government, and if they allow us to get credit for certain actions, then I'm going to get credit for them. Then again, no one is looking at my records either.
How about you? Anyone out there not deduct their giving on their taxes for one reason or another (other than you don’t give enough to claim)?