December 21, 2012
Carolyn Mazzenga, Tax & Business Services Partner & Partner-in-Charge of the Long Island Office, Featured in Newsday Article "Charities Worry About Tax Deduction Cuts"
By Ted Phillips
As President Barack Obama and House Republicans fight over taxes and the deficit, charities on Long Island are worried about cuts in gift-giving because tax deductions on donations may be slashed.
Any change to the tax law will rebalance the equations that influence how big a check donors write and what programs charities offer.
Charities worry that if proposals to lower or eliminate the charitable donation deduction are enacted, big donors will give less in the future.
And accountants are advising their high-net-worth clients to give more this year -- while the current deduction rules are still certain.
"For someone who constantly gives year after year and gives approximately the same amount, if they have the wherewithal to double up or triple up on their contributions, we're suggesting they do it this year," said Carolyn Mazzenga, partner at the Melville office of accounting firm Marcum LLP.
In general, when a person gives money to a charitable organization and receives nothing in return, that amount of money can be subtracted from adjusted gross income, which in turn lowers the taxes owed. Tax law already caps the deduction at 50 percent of adjusted gross income.