Now It’s Your Turn: Tax On Giving

Not a day goes by without the Tories mucking something up.  I didn’t want to start the week off on a sour note, so I opted to save this post for Tory Tuesday. After all that’s transpired in past weeks, what with causing panic over petrol, imposing a tax on pasties, increasing the rate on Air Passenger Duty, one thing is evident, this government loves its taxes.  They tax the poor, middle-class, and now the super rich, by way of their charitable donations.

As part of an attack on ‘aggressive tax avoidance’ George Osborne announced a limit on the amount of tax relief that wealthy donors could receive in respect of large donations. The tax would result in a substantial cut in the amount that philanthropists can claim back if they donated more than £200,000.  In other words, it would cost them far more to give the same sums to charitable causes.

UK charity leaders are worried that the tax might discourage charitable giving from big donors. However, the first thought that came to mind was if you donate money solely based on the tax-deductibility aspect are you really a philanthropist? I guess who cares so long as charities are getting the money they need to help people. Giving £250k+ is obviously a lot of money but if you could afford this, surely your tax-deduction is minor compared to the pleasure of giving to worthy causes.

That said, I could see the argument going the other way. Perhaps some donors enjoy giving because they genuinely enjoy helping others but aren’t rich enough to shoulder more than a set sum.  And who’s to dictate how one should use their money? Certainly not the government!

Just as those who take advantage of benefits (when clearly they could and should be working and contributing to society) and spend our tax money on fancy mobile phones and drinks down the pub, in the end, big donors should be able to take that extra money they get back and give it to another charity or invest the money to make more money (to give to another worthy cause)!  Right. I know that’s not how the world works but I have a feeling that the government is taking this whole austerity Britain thing a bit too far.  Have they even thought about the consequences before making such bold tax decisions?

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