A fiscal cliff benefit?

Dec. 30, 2012 @ 04:22 AM

The uncertainty about the fiscal cliff budget negotiations in the nation’s capital may bring an indirect benefit for local charities – a flurry of end-of-year donations through Monday as people get in contributions under the current tax code.
In the fiscal cliff talks among President Barack Obama, Republican House leaders and Democratic Senate leaders, one possibility to address revenue to the government is curtailing the amount of charitable contributions that qualify as a tax deduction. The idea is controversial, though, especially among nonprofit groups that fear a change in the tax code on charitable donations could deter giving.
Elected officials in Washington, D.C., are scrambling to come up with a proposal to avert automatic spending cuts and tax increases that would take effect at the first of the year, the so-called fiscal cliff deadline.
The uncertainty about how charitable contributions might be addressed in the tax code may be spurring people to give through Monday – the end of 2012 – to ensure their donations fall under the current code for tax returns.
Anecdotal examples at the Salvation Army of High Point show an upturn in donations that may relate in part to the fiscal cliff. The amount of gifts that are $250 and higher during Christmastime to the local Salvation Army has been greater than last year, said Brittany Burton, marketing and development coordinator.
“I would definitely say people are tying to get those donations in before the end of the year,” Burton told The High Point Enterprise.
At a national level, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reports that a majority of charities that the organization recently contacted expect donations this year to surpass 2011.
“Nearly 60 percent of the 71 groups said that they expect 2012 donations to exceed what they raised in 2011. Only about a quarter forecast a decrease, while another 16 percent expect contributions to be about the same this year as in 2011,” according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

pjohnson@hpe.com | 888-3528