Political donations aren’t tax deductible?

rock the vote '08Man, thank goodness I didn’t shell out those 10G’s I was planning on sending to Obama! Haha…j/k, of course.

But seriously, i had no idea you couldn’t write them off. I bet you used to be able to, but someone (or a bunch of someones) ruined it.

It’s surely not the end of the world, and def. shouldn’t be one of the top reasons to donate to a cause, but it did get me thinking. Esp. considering i was just about to donate for the first time ever to a campaign! (can you guess whose?) I would have just slapped it right into my “contributions” folder at home, an added it to next year’s tax #’s.

I guess it’s good that I subscribe to Money Magazine then ;) Their brief, and to the point, write up on this caught my eager eyes on my daily commute in this morning. It was titled, “Funding Your Candidate” (June, pg23) and shared 3 things to keep in mind:

1. You can give only so much
There are actually caps on how much you can donate – imagine that! Here are the limits each person can donate for 2008 (they are adjusted every 2 years for inflation):

  • $2,300 per candidate, per primary
  • $2,300 per candidate, per general election
  • $28,500 to a national party
  • $10,000 per state or local party
  • $5,000 per political action committee (PAC)
  • UNLIMITED donations to a 527 – some sort of candidate lobby group…maybe this is why i hear of people donating $100,000 here, $200,000 there?

2. Your info will go public
W-O-W, never saw that one coming! (i’m being serious there…although to some of you it will probably come across sarcastic. haha) Apparently there were some reforms after Watergate, and every time you make a contribution, you ALSO have to provide the following:

  • your name
  • your job
  • your employer
  • your address

Now, if your total donations are UNDER $200, then your info will just stay w/ the campaign. BUT, and a very interesting one indeed, if your contributions go OVER $200, your info then gets forwarded to the FEC, who then posts it on their website – FEC.gov !!! And then there is ANOTHER then, where it THEN gets picked up by sites like OpenSecrets.org, and FundRace.org who put them in searchable databases! Please excuse another one – W-O-W!

3. No Federal tax deductions for any contrib.
We already covered this one, but Money does a good job of pointing another option out for those deductible-hungry citizens. And that is to donate the said money to a charity that your candidate supports. This way, you help them out, the charity out, and yourself out ;)

So, what will i be doing with this new found information? I’m gonna donate directly to my man Obama. As I’ve mentioned, I’ve never once done so in my lifetime, and since my budget only allows for amounts UNDER $200, I won’t have to get freaked out about my info all over the net

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  1. Kent R June 1, 2011 at 6:12 AM

    Its about time, with the Supreme court allowing non living endities the right to use its unlimited resources as a source of speech that is Policial advertising and not requring disclosure of source providor to put in misinformation disguised as supposed news to mislead the public on records of the candidate or half truths that spin peoples minds to actualy vote against thier own interests its past time that Lobby groups are taxed to return funds to the general fund to help recover from the past actions of both elected and appointed political hacks.

    Between the National Chamber of Commerce, Corperate interests, union groups and National interest groups such as Oil Lobby groups Fracking Lobby groups and all the other 501k groups that attempt a twist regardless of its lean Liberal / Conserivitve Left or right. and the sMear groups like swift boat folk or Moral Majority they all have strong political slants and go beyond facts to attempt to prove thier view as the ONLY VIEW that should be correct Back to the Middle of the road or be doomed to more extreamist acts.

    Personally I believe any political donation in excess of 50 dollars should be taxed at 50% and those funds applied to half to the National debt the second half to pay off the bonds sold to social security by past elected officials for trust funds that they currently hold returning social security to the black. All parties caused the debt so this limit on the over all volume of ads would only be fair while reducing the misinformation by subchaper groups and lobby spinners.

  2. J. Money June 1, 2011 at 9:31 PM

    Now that’s an interesting idea! I don’t know much to debate one way or the other, but I love hearing creative ideas.. thx for sharing my man :)