by Jimmy Akin

in Government

(Cross-posted on The League of Bearded Catholics blog)

Hello, is this thing on?

*Harrumph*… perhaps I was busy trimming my beard, or maybe my nose hair (which requires far greater concentration), but I seem to have completely missed out on any national conversation or debate over this, which I'm sure must have been vocal and abundant.  Far be it that anyone should get all worked up over such a trivial matter, but in looking over the instructions for the IRS Form 1040, I recently found the following;

Expiring tax benefits.

The following benefits are scheduled to expire and will not be available for 2010.

The exclusion from income of qualified charitable distributions


Tax-deductible charitable contributions are… just gone? In the words of my old Building-and-Loan pal, George Bailey… "Do you realize what this means?"

Did I read this wrong? Am I dreaming?

UPDATE: So, a couple of knowledgable commenters have pointed out that, unlike the "charitable tax deduction", the "exclusion from income" is limited to direct contributions of things like IRAs to charitiy. So, a follow up question: how will this affect charities and donors? How greatly do charitable organizations count on this sort of funding?

Thanks for the combox clarification, by the way. It doesn;t sound as dire as I had imagined.

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Augustine January 25, 2010 at 11:56 am

I’m not a lawyer, but “distributions” are not the same as “contributions”. I believe that in English that would read as “direct donations of IRAs to charity”, according to
And this is only for the return to be filed until 4/15/2011, next year.

Michael A. Koenecke January 25, 2010 at 11:58 am

I think you are confusing an exclusion from income from the charitable deduction. That relates to the ability to take income from an IRA and roll it over directly to a charity, without having to count it as an income distribution. Here’s a good description:
You can still take a charitable deduction, but that’s an itemized deduction which has limits, and is not as beneficial as an outright exclusion.

JohnE January 25, 2010 at 3:13 pm

On the subject of taxes though, I recall hearing earlier this year that some of the expiring tax provisions would not be renewed, but found that at least some of those that were expiring in 2009 have been renewed for 2010.
I thought I read earlier this year that the Obama administration would not seek to renew the $1000/child tax credit, but that may be only for certain income levels. I did read that he would seek to double the child CARE tax credit. Is that the same thing?
It will also be “interesting” to see the affect on the deficit as we combine tax cuts (if indeed taxes are cut overall) with the already increased spending. I’m no economist, but if I bought a new car and HDTV and then lowered my income, it would probably put us in a pinch.
Here’s a list of tax provisions that will be expiring in the next 10 years:
We’ll have to see which ones are renewed, or revised to benefit less people. Politicians can say they didn’t raise taxes (they just let the existing provisions expire), or they can even renew the provision in a way that benefits fewer people but still say they reduced taxes — because they renewed the provision.

Rosemarie January 26, 2010 at 6:31 am

While many of us with children would benefit from having the child care tax credit raised, I’m still wondering how Obama intends to make up for it financially. Unless he cuts the out-of-control spending he’ll just make things worse, like Bush did. Obama doesn’t seem to have any concept how economics works. Or how foreign policy works. Or how military campaigns work. Or how to deal with terrorism. Or how to deal with dictators. Or how to treat our allies. Or how to govern a country. Have we ever had a less-qualified man in the Oval Office?
In Jesu et Maria,

mmm January 26, 2010 at 7:23 am

Rosemarie, the answer, of course, is “No, we have never had such an ignorant bungler (and pro-death, to boot) in the White House.” The saddest thing is that you and I and so many other people knew, in advance, that it would be this way … but VAST HORDES of Americans are totally clueless ignoramuses, even more stupid than Obama himself. More than 50% of Americans (perhaps more than 75%) are drunk on luxury, are mesmerized by the ephemeral (such as Obama’s “attractiveness”), and are ignorant of history, traditional morality, etc.. Their dumber-than-a-box-o’-rocks condition allowed them to vote for a lying, incompetent turkey, who has placed our nation in a world of hurt (financially, morally, etc.).

Rosemarie January 26, 2010 at 8:08 am

>>>The saddest thing is that you and I and so many other people knew, in advance, that it would be this way … but VAST HORDES of Americans are totally clueless
Yeah, that’s what’s tearing me apart right now. I didn’t vote for him because I did my homework and knew he was bad news. Now it seems almost everyone else is realizing what I knew back then and I’m like, it took you this long to figure it out? I could have told you that back in October 2008.
In Jesu et Maria,

Tzard January 26, 2010 at 9:30 am

Let’s see. Remove a per-child credit and exchange it with a child-care credit.
That sounds a lot less like support for families with children than support for breaking up your family.
I do know (personally) it sometimes takes 2 incomes and child care is needed. BUT, this is not ideal, unless you think motherhood and childrearing secondary to working in the factory.
Don’t for once think they have your best interests in mind.
(p.s. childcare is much cheaper for the state in the long run since you don’t provide child care for teenagers, but per-child tax credits helps until 18).

Rosemarie January 26, 2010 at 9:52 am

I don’t think they have our best interest in mind (FWIW, we’re pretty much a one-income household here). If they do drop the per-child credit down to $500 next year then an increased child-care credit would be helpful, but it’s not like government really cares about families anyway.
In Jesu et Maria,

Nancy January 29, 2010 at 6:15 am

The per child tax credit when they turn 17. We lucked out 18 years ago when my first-born was a premie in December. Then when he was 17 at the end of ’08, it ended for him. Frankly, the tax credit would’ve been more useful with the 2008 filing, but so it goes!

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