2010 IRS Tax Returns – Donation Disparity Between the Top Two Politicians

June 28, 2011 by  Filed under: Taxes 

The 2010 tax returns are now over for most taxpayers and many have already received their tax refund checks. The 2010 tax return season had its ups and downs, including a high electronic filing rate, increase in identity theft, confusion and errors with the First-time Home Owners Credit, delays in refund checks for the Adoption Credit claimers, and much more. The post-tax return period is usually a time of reviewing tax return statistics and learning from mistakes. However, besides these statistics, it is also a time when the public gets to be alerted to the tax returns of some of the prominent public figures who make their returns public. Prominent taxpayers of high interest are the president and other top politicians.

One of the more notable items in the 2010 tax returns for President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden is the disparity in the percentage of their income that was given to charities. President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama donated $245,075.00 to tax-exempt charities in 2010 against an Adjusted Gross Income of $1,728,096.00. Their tax bill for the year was $453,770.00. Most of the income made by the Obamas was from the sale of Obama’s book. One of the notable donations by the president was a $131,075.00 donation to the Fisher House Foundation that provides scholarships to orphaned army children and children of disabled army soldiers. According to a blog post on the White House website, the president was donating proceeds of his children’s book to the Fisher House Foundation.

In contrast, the Vice President made charity contributions of $5,350.00 for the tax year 2010 against an Adjusted Gross Income of $379,178.00. Part of the donations by Joe and Jill Biden included donations of used clothing and household items to Goodwill, totaling $950.00. Many find the donation levels of the Vice President wanting. However, in response to his low donation levels, the Vice president said that his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, volunteered time in helping out with military families. Either way, the donations by the Biden couple had gone up in comparison to their average donations of $369.00 between 1998 and 2008, before Biden became the Vice President.

In comparison to the national average, the Biden donation levels were still very low. The average 2010 donations made by a taxpayer with an Average Gross Income of $380,000.00 was $9,544.00, which is about 78% more than what the Biden couple donated. For Obama, the average donation of taxpayers with an AGI level equal to the president’s was $46,359.00, which was about a fifth of what Obama donated.

Donations, whether given out of philanthropy or out of strategic tax planning, continue to impact majorly on tax expenditures, as they contribute majorly to the total tax deductions claimed every tax year. On the flip side, the donations enable services to be extended to areas and to people who the government may otherwise not reach out to.

Rob L Daniel and partners of Limon Whitaker & Morgan, for years have helped businesses and individuals Nationwide, with their delinquent IRS & State tax problems. The firm is based in Los Angeles, California USA. http://www.limonwhitaker.com / Tel:888.321.6188

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