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Promoting Philanthropy: the Role of Tax Benefits Catherine Shea Program Director International Center for Not-for-Profit Law © International Center for Not-for-Profit Law 2003. All Rights Reserved.
Tax Benefits for Charitable Giving n n Create a favorable environment encouraging charitable donations Are not in and of themselves sufficient to promote charitable giving
Tax Incentives for Donors n n n Tax Tax deductions credits designation schemes (1% Laws)
Tax Deductions n n Deductions reduce the amount of income subject to tax (the tax base) Deductions are the most common form of benefit granted.
Tax Credits n n Credits reduce the amount of tax owed Regional Examples: • Hungary – individuals receive a tax credit of 30% of a donation of up to 50, 000 HUF for public benefit organizations and 100, 000 HUF for prominently public benefit organizations • Latvia -- 85% of a contribution can be claimed as a tax credit (90% for three privileged organizations), but only up to 20% of the wholly assessed tax liability.
Features of Tax Deduction or Tax Credit Rules n n n Gift must be to foundation, association, or other not-for-profit organization Gift must be to Public Benefit Organization Generally, tax benefit should be available to both business and individuals who give Limit on tax benefit for gift Monetary gifts and gifts of property Compliance rules
Incentives for Philanthropy – the US Case n n n US Tax Code allows deductions to both individuals and corporations Deductions available for in-kind gifts as well as gifts of money Recipient must be a organized and operated exclusively for one of these purposes: Religious, Charitable, Scientific, Literary, Educational, Prevention of cruelty to children or animals, or to Foster national or international amateur sports competition.
Incentives for Philanthropy – the US Case n Individual donations • Are deductible only for those who itemize deductions (generally, middle income taxpayers and above) • Are deductible up to 50% of income (30% for donations to private foundations).
Incentives for Philanthropy – the US Case n Businesses • Donations are deductible up to 10% of income
Country Business Donations Individual Donations Notes Albania For those who pay profit taxes, a sponsored sum may be deductible up to 4% of taxable income. For those who pay small business taxes, a sponsored sum is deductible up to 1% of taxable income. Individuals who are "traders" qualify for deductions on the same basis as discussed for businesses. Otherwise, none. Sponsors must be persons defined as "traders" under the Albanian Commercial Code. Sponsorship may be for public and social purposes including: humanitarian aid, sports, ecological activities, literature, and science. Sponsorship must be documented (i. e. by contract, certificates of performance. ) Bosnia and Herzegovina In Fed. of Bi. H, donations are deductible up In Fed. of Bi. H, donations are 100% to 0. 5% of business' income. Contributions to deductible. In Rep. of Srpska, donations are political parties are tax deductible if they do deductible up to 10% of income. not exceed 0. 1% of a business' income. In Rep. of Srpska, donations are deductible up to 0. 5% of income, and donations to NGOs engaged in scientific activities are deductible if they do not exceed 5% of income. Contributions to political parties are not deductible. Bulgaria Foundations and Associations are entitled to deduct up to 5% of income after reducing their financial base by the amount of qualifying contributions. Donations must be made from capital reserve fund or account of owner. In Rep. of Srpska only donations or contributions to humanitarian organizations that are registered are tax deductible. May deduct up to 5% of income for qualifying donations.
Croatia May deduct donations to organizations pursuing cultural scientific, educational, health, humanitarian, sport, religious, and other activities up to 2% of income generated in previous year. Threshhold may be raised on approval of the competent ministry. Businesses may deduct as business expenditures sums expended on sponsorship if they receive a reciprocal benefit in the form of promotion. May deduct donations to organizations pursuing cultural scientific, educational, health, humanitarian, sport, religious, and other activities up to 2% of income generated in previous year. Threshhold may be raised on approval of the competent ministry. Czech Rep. May not deduct more than 2% of income and must donate at least 2000 CZK to qualify for the deduction. Donations must be given to municipalities or not-for-profit organizations headquartered in the Czech Rep. Deductible up to 10% of income. To qualify, an individual must donate at least 2% of income, but not less than 1000 CZK. Donations must be given to municipalities or not-for-profit organizations headquartered in the Czech Rep. A proposal to extend the 2% maximum to 4% is pending Estonia The income tax on distributions is imposed, with respect to charitable contributions to associations and foundations on the government's list, on the amount exceeding 3% of payments subject to social tax or 10% of profits for the last fiscal year. This sum may be recalculated at year end for those organizations that do not make charitable distributions each month. Donations to NPOs not on the list are taxed at the rate of 26/74. Individuals may deduct documented gifts and charitable contributions to organizations on the government list or to certain agencies of the state and local governments, managers of nature reserves, or universities of public law. Deduction is limited to 5% of taxable income. Public benefit organizations may receive tax-benefited contributions if they are on the government approved list. Conditions for inclusion on the list include compliance with the nondistribution constraint, limitation of administrative expenses, use of entrepreneurship income solely for statutory purposes, and lack of tax arrears. Hungary Corporations, unincorporated partnerships, and individual entrepreneurs may deduct donations up to 20% pre-tax profits. In the case of donations to "prominent" PBOs, the deduction is 150% of the donation up to 20% pre-tax profits. An individual may take a credit for 30% of a donation to a PBO or public interest commitment. The credit may not exceed 50, 000 HUF. In the case of donations to "prominent" PBOs, the tax credit is 30% of the donation, up to 100, 000 HUF. Taxpayers may direct that 1% of their taxes be paid to designated PBOs, and an additional 1% to religious organizations.
Latvia 85% of the contribution can be claimed as a tax credit, but only up to 20% of the wholly assessed tax liability. Donors to three privileged organizations - Latvian Olympic Committee, Children’s Fund and Culture Fund - may claim a credit of 90% of the contribution. If the activities of the public organization do not correspond with its aims, the tax benefits are rescinded according to the scheme provided by the Cabinet of Ministers. same as businesses Only NGOs with permission of the Ministry of Finance may receive tax-benefited contributions. Entry on the Ministry's list requires an application with certain financial records, recommendations, and other documents, and must be renewed annually. There are limits on donations of State owned enterprises, which must seek permission of the Minister of Finance in order to donate amounts over LVL 500 (USD 833). Lithuania Businesses may deduct from taxable income two times the amount of the donation up to 40% of taxable income. Deductions are permitted only if the contributions were made pursuant to a particular program under the Charity and Support Law. There are no carryforwards of unused donations. None. Individuals may direct the tax inspectorate to pay up to 2% of their income taxes to an organization of their choice (generally, PBOs). Macedonia Expenses for donations and grants for scientific, humanitarian, cultural, educational, health care, religious, and amateur sports purposes may be deducted from the taxpayer’s tax base up to 3% of a business’ gross income, provided the donations and grants were made to public organizations financed by the state budget or the Red Cross of the Republic of Macedonia. No deductions.
Poland Businesses may deduct (1) up to 10% of taxable basis for donations to organizations whose activities include charity, religion, environmental protection, fire protection, and housing investment by local government, and (2) up to 15% of taxable basis for those whose activities include science, education, culture, sports, physical exercise, rehabilitation, health and social care, and support for infrastructure in rural areas. same as businesses Donations are not deductible if made for the benefit of natural persons, or entities engaged in the production of alcoholic beverages, fuels, tobacco, electronic devices, or in the production or trade of precious metals. Romania Businesses may deduct up to Contributions are not deductible. 5% of their income for donations for qualifying purposes (religious, education, human rights, science, etc. ) Slovakia May deduct value of gifts in excess of 500 SK given to municipalities or other legal entities. The deduction may not exceed 10% of the tax base. May deduct contributions in excess of 2% of tax liability or 1000 SK. The total deduction may not exceed 10% of total tax liability. Effective 1/1/2002, taxpayers may designate 1% of taxes to be paid to any legal or natural person. Yugoslavia Donations of a corporation to public benefit, sports, and religious organizations are tax deductible to the extent that they do not exceed 3% of the corporation's total income. Donations of an individual to public benefit organizations are tax deductible to the extent they do not exceed 10% of their income subject to taxation.
“ 1%” Laws n n Pioneered in Hungary in 1996 Grants private individuals the right to designate the use of 1% of their taxes paid to a nonprofit organisation and 1% to a church The recipient has to be in existence for at least 2 years (1 year if prominently public benefit) The donation is anonymous
Other 1% Initiatives in CEE n n n Slovakia has enacted a 1% Law that permit 1% designations by both individuals and businesses Lithuania has enacted a 2% Law Poland is considering a 1% provision in its draft Law on Public Benefit Activities and Volunteerism.
Recipients/Beneficiaries • Associations, foundations and public foundations carrying out PB activities • State institutions, such as museums, libraries or the Opera House • An issue of national significance, determined annually - e. g. flood relief or emergency medical services • An additional 1% can be given to a registered Hungarian church denomination
NGO requirements • NGOs entitled to such donations have to be carrying out public benefit activities • They cannot have a public debt • They have to serve the Hungarian public in Hungary or across borders • They have to publish the accounts of how money was used
STATISTICS 2001 • Total of 15, 76 million USD for NGOs • Total of 7, 4 million USD for 1, 4 million people returning forms • 17, 300 NGO recipients, churches • Total of 25 million USD donation
PREFERRED TOPICS • Health - children’s health and cancer • Education - foundation schools • Animal shelters
Benefits • Taxpayers have direct influence on how their taxes are used • The existence and the concept of nonprofit organizations more widely known • NGOs have to communicate more about themselves
Disadvantages • Administrative and financial burden too big for smaller NGOs • Seen as substitute for regular giving by taxpayers
Disadvantages n Political Choice: In both Hungary and Lithuania, 1% (or 2%) Laws coincide with limitations on other tax incentives for giving. • Hungary – credit for individual donations capped at approximately $165 US, or $330 US for “prominently” public benefit organizations • Lithuania – eliminated deductibility of individual contributions n Slovakia and draft law in Poland leave existing tax benefits in place.