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Could tax deductions for charitable giving have health effects?

Here in the U.S., there are tax benefits, such as deductions, available in relation to charitable giving. One of the main goals of tax benefits for charitable giving is to encourage such giving. A recent study indicates that such tax benefits may also have positive health impacts.

The study looked at survey data regarding charitable giving and health status to see if there was any connection between amount of tax benefits for charitable giving and health levels. From the analysis of the data, the study concluded that increases in charitable giving tax subsidies were associated with increases in health scores.

Why might increased tax benefits for charitable giving lead to health improvements? They might trigger a chain of events in which the tax benefits lead to increased charitable giving, and the increased charitable giving leads to improved health among those giving. The study found that charitable giving was associated with various positive things health-wise.

This raises the possibility that tax policy regarding charitable giving may have health effects. Do you think that, in light of this, lawmakers here in the U.S. should consider upping the tax benefits for charitable giving?

The laws regarding tax benefits for charitable giving are complex. Also, the types of methods available for charitable giving are numerous (trusts, annuities, foundations, funds and one-time gifts are some examples), and the tax effects of them vary. These are some of the reasons why careful planning can be so important when it comes to lifetime charitable giving. Lack of such planning could cause a person to leave helpful tax benefits or other benefits on the table in relation to their giving. Given this, when developing a charitable giving plan, a person may want the guidance of a skilled lawyer.

Source: phys.org, "Can charitable giving improve your health?," Jan. 6, 2016

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