Your OWS Donation May Not Be Tax deductible—But Who Cares?

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October 25, 2011; Source: Christian Science Monitor  |  In the midst of all the discussion regarding the possibility of the imposition of a cap on the charitable tax deduction (see here and here and here, some have expressed that they care less about the deductibility of their donations than they do about their motivation for giving. For those donating to Occupy Wall Street there is no tax deduction—at least, not yet. And there isn’t a declared plan to seek charitable status.

Paul Fierman, a retired airline pilot, has donated to OWS through its website, and he sees the tax deduction issue as unimportant.

“It doesn’t bother me in the least,” he says. “The longer people are out there spreading their message, the more likely it is to stick. That’s why I donated. If they have to go home, this thing is going to die. I’ll keep donating as long as they’re out there.”

Fierman is concerned about the widening gap in income in the U.S., saying, “These CEOs are making more in one day than their workers make all year, and that just shouldn’t be . . . There has got to be a change of attitude in this country.”

It has to be considered whether formalizing an organizational structure could be a first step in ruining the organic nature of the movement. Would it matter enough to many of those who might give that their donation is not tax deductible? I have to say I doubt it, but what do you think?—Ruth McCambridge

  • Kelly Kleiman

    I can’t imagine that people supporting the Occupy . . . movement, which proposes significant reform to the income maldistribution created by our current tax system, will care about deductibility. In any case, recent studies show that deductibility has much less impact on giving than is sometimes claimed: please see