Thursday, April 17, 2003
Taxes or a Tax Deduction: There are times when you read about an idea that is so brilliant and yet so simple you say to yourself "why didn't I think of that?" In Sunday's New York Times in an article entitled "Charity Begins at Schedule A" Ian Ayres and Barry Nalebuff propose two small changes in tax law could encourage people to be more generous. First, extend the deadline for deducting donations to April 15 of the following year, the same as the deadline for contributions to an Individual Retirement Account. Second, provide a new line on the tax form for people to total their donations as a percentage of their income. For those taxpayers looking at writing a check to the IRS, this could provide incentive enough to make a contribution to their favorite charitable causes and reduce their tax burden. For those receiving a refund, they may share some of that windfall. Simply brilliant.