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View Full Version : Poll: How important is tax deductibility to donating for legal cases?


hoffmang
01-28-2008, 7:13 PM
Let me posit a hypothetical. In the near future we might ask everyone to help support a case to defend a Calgunner wrongly accused of AW possession (like BWO) or to help an offensive case to end the BoF's intransigence and civil rights violations (like the dismissed Modesto case.)

How important is it to you to have your donations be tax deductible? Would you donate more if it was tax deductible? Please think through both questions before you vote.

The reason we ask is that tax deductibility raises the overhead costs of running a fund and we want to be as economical as possible to make the most impact with our pooled resources.

-Gene

383green
01-28-2008, 7:14 PM
It's not a major consideration for me.

bwiese
01-28-2008, 7:16 PM
Probably irrelevant to many here in the typical anticipated donation amounts.

If you donated $200 - $500, say - the amount of deduction is 'nice' but not overpoweringly steering of your choice.
That's money you won't see till after April anyway so you're still outta pocket even if deductible.

Getting the money to the target as expeditiously & effectively as possible is what counts. Better a little pain spread out amongst the donors so that the fund/organization can move swiftly & without a lotta paperwork grief.

mblat
01-28-2008, 7:24 PM
I've donated $250 to BWO defense...... So deduction would be nice, but irrelevant on big scale of thing.

My $$$$ yearly donation to IRA-ILA is other issue...... but it isn't deductible....

hoffmang
01-28-2008, 7:27 PM
To point out the other side of the equation:

How nice is it to have the State of California and the Federal Government chip in to protect the rights of gunowners?

-Gene

mblat
01-28-2008, 7:31 PM
To point out the other side of the equation:

How nice is it to have the State of California and the Federal Government chip in to protect the rights of gunowners?

-Gene

That is interesting point..... However..... About 4 years ago I was inquiring what it takes to maintain non-profit.
I was told that back then it would take about $800 a year. Now, if we could find an accountant who would do it "for the love of the gun" :D, then may be. Otherwise isn't it a bit too expensive?

otalps
01-28-2008, 7:34 PM
To point out the other side of the equation:

How nice is it to have the State of California and the Federal Government chip in to protect the rights of gunowners?

-Gene

That is a really persuasive point. Considering they created the whole mess by not protecting the rights they were sworn to uphold in the first place, it only makes sense they be liable for any financial issues brought about by their actions.

hoffmang
01-28-2008, 7:38 PM
The overhead in actual dollars can probably be kept around $1000 as it relates to the 501(c)(3) status, but the PIA factor is high - even when we get volunteers. That's the other side of the coin.

-Gene

trashman
01-28-2008, 7:40 PM
As I understand it much of the overhead costs for a 501(c)3 are labor/legal -- i.e., can be donated if there are enough Calgunners with chunks of time to give.

I think, generally speaking, that this is a good idea. Tax deductibility does draw more folks to the fold, particularly when towards the end of a calendar year if they realize they have a liability that can be eased with a tax deductible donation.

The downside IIRC is that the disclosure rules make donation amounts public, which could draw some attention.

--Neill

hi_desert
01-28-2008, 7:43 PM
As I understand it, any real tax benefit for an individual only comes into play if the deduction knocks you down into a lower bracket, therefore I voted no. Donating a couple hundred to save $20 come April does not factor into the donation amount. More importantly is how much can I afford and the cause.

hi_desert
01-28-2008, 7:45 PM
To point out the other side of the equation:

How nice is it to have the State of California and the Federal Government chip in to protect the rights of gunowners?

-Gene

Now that's a perspective that I didn't consider, lemme change my vote.

Riodog
01-28-2008, 8:09 PM
Hoffmang, that's a joke. IF everyone of us pooled ALL of our assets it would amount to a small snowball in Tahoe to the gov't.

The beneficial deduction doesn't amount to much of anything unless you're planning on asking for 10->20,000 bucks. Come to think about it, I have had more deductions than income a few years running. Wanna buy some?

Actually, with some CREATIVE thinking, some-one??? would position himself to take m/c or visa under the name of some type of 'whatever' that an individual could claim as a work-type deduction. Something quite innocuous that could be applied to most types of employment. While I'm not advocating breaking any laws, are you getting my drift?

Forget the non-profit angle, too much 'oversight'.
Rio

C.G.
01-28-2008, 8:32 PM
Tax deduction would be nice, but not nice enough for all the hassles.

Wulf
01-28-2008, 8:51 PM
I dont know how most people budget, but for me charitable donations come out of a different pool of money than my shooting budget which is where the kind of thing we're talking about here would normally come from. Its all accounting and psy tricks of course but that seems to be how it is.

SemiAutoSam
01-28-2008, 9:06 PM
Gene

How about a Private Foundation instead of a 501C3

Or a 508 You could preach about gun law's and History and we could all be your parishioners.

1911_sfca
01-29-2008, 12:19 AM
I donated $1,000 early on to BWO's legal defense. When it is tax deductible to donate to causes I support, it makes a significant difference for me.

That said, I was under the impression that donations to legal defense (like political contributions) were not tax deductible. Can you explain how a 501(c)(3) would be able to divert its funds to legal causes?

Although it makes a difference to me, it sounds like most people posting don't really care, so it's probably not worth the effort in that case.

AKman
01-29-2008, 7:36 AM
A tax deduction is nice, but not absolutely required. It does feel good knowing that a donation to a certain cause is being subsidized by the government. In this case it would feel real good to know that CA is subsiding a group[ that is against their draconian gun laws.

I think Gun Owners Foundation is a non-profit organization where donations are tax deductible. They currently have three donation funds set up for Heller, Horsley (Reds) and Celata (KT Ordnance). It would seem there is no problem supporting legal defence using charitable donations. For more info:

Gun Owners Foundation Donation (http://www.gunowners.com/donate.htm)

This is not a solicitation, but simply FYI. If this is a route that Calguns would want to take, the 501(c)(3) paperwork filed by GOF could be modified and save time/money.

Soldier415
01-29-2008, 7:40 AM
Gene

How about a Private Foundation instead of a 501C3

Or a 508 You could preach about gun law's and History and we could all be your parishioners.

The Calguns Church of John Moses Browning...i'd attend.

Addax
01-29-2008, 7:44 AM
As a business owner, having a tax write off helps.

I have donated $$$ to Matt's fund, and I have pledged a OLL rifle for him too.

Yes, I would love to have the ability to write it all off, it just helps the bottom line when tax time comes. Plus I would be able to donate more $$$ knowing I can write it off.

The end of year tax benefits are substantial to us, at least I don't have to pay tens of thousands of dollars in taxes, I cut that down to maybe just a few $thousand dollars..

Semi-Auto Sam's idea of a Private Foundation is not a bad one either.

hoffmang
01-29-2008, 10:50 AM
A 501(c)(3) can not lobby for legislation, but there is no restriction on spending charitable contributions on litigation furthering the core cause of the charity. The Electronic Frontier Foundation is an excellent example of that.

-Gene

aileron
01-29-2008, 11:05 AM
Gene

How about a Private Foundation instead of a 501C3

Or a 508 You could preach about gun law's and History and we could all be your parishioners.

How bout just incorporate the California State Militia. Maybe even do it as a 508, or a Foundation. :p

Because its made of the people, wonder how far that could be taken? We are the militia, could we incorporate on our behalf as a foundation to protect our rights? Call it the California State Militia Foundation.

Somehow I think that would piss some folks off. Probably bring a lot of unwanted government attention.

Definitely be called radical nut cases. :rolleyes:

hoffmang
01-29-2008, 11:19 AM
Call it the California State Militia Foundation.

I know you were joking, but I wanted to make clear that that would be political suicide.

-Gene

aileron
01-29-2008, 11:27 AM
I know you were joking, but I wanted to make clear that that would be political suicide.

-Gene

Yes it would, but sometimes I cant resist.

artherd
01-29-2008, 12:11 PM
That is interesting point..... However..... About 4 years ago I was inquiring what it takes to maintain non-profit.
I was told that back then it would take about $800 a year. Now, if we could find an accountant who would do it "for the love of the gun" :D, then may be. Otherwise isn't it a bit too expensive?

It is significantly more expensive than that

I think we need a list of pros and cons and a re-poll.

hoffmang
01-29-2008, 7:31 PM
We're a decisive bunch here at CGN. Running almost a dead heat at 8:30PM on 1/29...

-Gene

adamsreeftank
01-30-2008, 12:48 AM
I think in the long run, it might be worth it. You never know. If you start to get some traction and publicity, you might get some deep pocket donors who would donate enough so it would actually matter to them. Not to discount all of the 200 to 500 dollar contributors, but to be able to really be active politically and in the courts, you need to court the guys willing to drop 10000 to 50000 for a good cause.

I also like the idea of writing off a donation to fight the DOJ.

1911_sfca
01-30-2008, 2:40 AM
We're a decisive bunch here at CGN. Running almost a dead heat at 8:30PM on 1/29...

-Gene

It's not really clear to me what you're trying to get out of this poll. For instance, it doesn't capture whether the voters have ever donated anything to any gun cause, or how much they would be likely to increase that. It's a "feeler" but doesn't give the reader, at least not me, much of a feel for anything.

I guess my question is how serious you are about setting up a nonprofit, exactly how the funds would be managed/what criteria would be used for deciding where to spend, and what sort of support you are looking for.

If you are seriously thinking about doing it, I'd be willing to throw in support and tax deductibility would make a difference.

bwiese
01-30-2008, 8:26 AM
We're very serious about getting this off the ground. Gene's really put the spurs in the horse...

Ideally we'd like to minimize adminstrivia efforts to maximize time/attention paid to various things the .org would be doing.

Sometimes money is cheaper than time, and that, I think, is Gene's jist.

blackberg
01-30-2008, 8:59 AM
Ive worked at several non-profits, both as an employee and a consultant...and I am currently at one now as well...

tax-deductible status make big differance in donations. Ive seen unsolicited donations come in from areas that have no relation to the orgs in $10k-$50k range sometimes, estates given to the orgs as well, even to places that dont solicit. Ive heard of families taken of the will and whole estates given to charity. Now I know that the "market" for this type is different, long term it may be very beneficial, and the possibility is always there. Many people & businesses have set budgets for charity, and will give to causes they have an interest in.

-bb

kap
01-30-2008, 9:15 AM
A non-profit is a great idea and I would like to see it happen as long as the savings to members is worth the investment in time and money.

hoffmang
01-30-2008, 11:14 AM
We're deadly serious. We're going to create an organization which we'll be talking a lot more about shortly. My question was and is - would you give more if your gifts to support a case like BWO were tax deductible?

-Gene

SemiAutoSam
01-30-2008, 11:24 AM
OK that's fair but please explain why you don't like the idea of a Private Foundation?

Maybe its too much like a full time job for someone ?

Its about the same headache in the area of paperwork and from what I remember Grants can be had depending on Mission statement and such.

We're deadly serious. We're going to create an organization which we'll be talking a lot more about shortly. My question was and is - would you give more if your gifts to support a case like BWO were tax deductible?

-Gene

McMadCow
01-30-2008, 11:50 AM
Tax deductions don't matter to me when talking about this issue. I'd donate just because I'm sick of hearing about this nonsense and I'd like to help fight it.

762cavalier
01-30-2008, 12:59 PM
Well on a personal level, tax deduction won't make a difference, but I know of a couple of businesses that may make donations if they are deductible ;)

trashman
01-30-2008, 5:37 PM
A 501(c)(3) can not lobby for legislation

I don't think this is true, Gene -- a 501(c)3 *can* lobby; but if lobbying is the main focus of the .org then we lose our non-profit status. And strictly speaking, the .org cannot register as lobbyists. But we can sure hire them.

There is a fairly generous cap ($500,000/year I think) on the dollar amount a 501(c)3 can spend on lobbying before it triggers some serious reporting requirements to the IRS.

(I know this because a large government research program I work on was, for political reasons, cancelled in 2006. The company I work for (a non-profit) lobbied Congress successfully to get it restored to the Federal budget.)

--Neill

artherd
01-31-2008, 1:24 AM
We're as serious as I was about buying a JP CTR-02...

I guess my question is how serious you are about setting up a nonprofit, exactly how the funds would be managed/what criteria would be used for deciding where to spend, and what sort of support you are looking for.

If you are seriously thinking about doing it, I'd be willing to throw in support and tax deductibility would make a difference.

Thank you all for your consideration.

Scarecrow Repair
01-31-2008, 6:04 AM
When I make a donation, I look at my currents state of affairs. A deduction which won't show up until next year's tax deduction makes no difference to my checking account balance now. I am aware of the difference next year, but it has almost no bearing on what I give now.

JeffCinSac
01-31-2008, 7:20 AM
We're deadly serious. We're going to create an organization which we'll be talking a lot more about shortly. My question was and is - would you give more if your gifts to support a case like BWO were tax deductible?

-Gene

Yes, I would, if for no other reason than it's easier for me to convince my wife to go along with the plan. Hence, we donated some scratch to the NRA Foundation this past tax year, but not to the ILA. She thinks non-profit=good cause.

-J

mblat
01-31-2008, 7:33 AM
I don't mean to run on anybody parade, but why do we need one more organization? When we discussed it last time some of the people who now in favor of new organization had an attitude that NRA is answer to everything and new organization would just split pro-gun vote.
So what changed?

1911_sfca
01-31-2008, 9:54 AM
Many peoples' employers in the Bay Area will match funds 100% to charitable organizations. Mine included.

Keep that in mind when selecting a name for the foundation.

bwiese
01-31-2008, 10:07 AM
I don't mean to run on anybody parade, but why do we need one more organization? When we discussed it last time some of the people who now in favor of new organization had an attitude that NRA is answer to everything and new organization would just split pro-gun vote.
So what changed?

Nothing.

This is (or will be) a specifically-focused group doing things in cooperation with the NRA & its goals. But its focus will be at a lower level, letting the NRA doing the good things it continues to do politically while we backfill efforts at a lower level - looking at/supporting cases, running specialty ads about certain gun laws, etc.

Such a group is not intented to replace NRA, nor necessarily try to be another GOC/CRPA (even if those were functional organizations). [I am hearing of favorable changes in CRPA leadership, we'll wait & see how it turns out with their lobbying staff.]

There are things relating to what we do here on Calguns that would benefit from .org treatment, fundraising, etc. that will help CA gunnies, bolster/help NRA, etc.

69Mach1
01-31-2008, 10:14 AM
Doesn't matter to me.

pullnshoot25
03-08-2008, 10:42 PM
That is interesting point..... However..... About 4 years ago I was inquiring what it takes to maintain non-profit.
I was told that back then it would take about $800 a year. Now, if we could find an accountant who would do it "for the love of the gun" :D, then may be. Otherwise isn't it a bit too expensive?

Well, how hard is it to keep the books for such an organization? I would be willing to do it if you guys would like. I already keep the books for my dad's business (fairly simple though) and I have a good relationship with one accountant who is gun friendly (she even rock climbs!).

Let me know, God knows I wont be leaving His forsaken shathole anytime soon.

Oh yeah, tax deductible doesn't matter to me.

Yankee Clipper
03-09-2008, 9:30 AM
Gene’s original question was do we want to set up a ‘non-profit’ so we can make tax deductible donations to a defense fund to support a wrongly accused Calgunner. The legal cases, if I understand Gene correctly, are/will be California cases. We have, in this state, a unique anti-gun culture with probably more money behind it than any other state. Because of that we have to pony up more resources than the NRA has available for any one state to fight these individual cases. We would still call on the NRA, and they would still provide, any available resources that can be allocated.
Using this fund to win some of these cases, and publicizing the wins, will educate the DOJ, local LE and 58 DA’s that we have important legal rights that can’t be trampled.
Others have posted proposals here that would broaden that simple mission statement. I think those mission enhancements have a great deal of merit but can be added after we see if Gene’s original concept works as well as we think it will. I think it will.

mattmcg
03-09-2008, 3:59 PM
Hoffmang,

I think if you are serious about getting any large donations, tax deductibility would be an essential component. The $20, $50, and $100 dollar donations are nice but it's the $10,000 and up that really win cases and make a point to our state legislature...... Of course anybody with the resources to muster up a donation of that size or larger would also benefit from the tax deduction.

That is my $.02 and I would be happy to support a CA defense fund...........

stag6.8
03-09-2008, 4:03 PM
yes tax deduction is important to me....why?....cause the brady bunch does it....thier contributions are tax deductable .....tax deduction will entice more people of financal stature to join the fight (it shows them were organized)....why not us?...we need to fight to them on thier own ground ........start our own true money train....the old saying goes "keep california green and golden...bring money" this will also start the money train towards making this a shall issue state to cover petition cost and media coverage....which i know is a lot of money...the brady bunch is getting thier money....now its our turn....

Ech0Sierra
03-09-2008, 4:34 PM
Since this is for furthering my personal beliefs and/or saving a friend, it will not matter, though option 1 would be a nice luxury.