Extending the charitable deduction deadline is a move with precedent: the government has used it to encourage giving following a natural disaster. However, temporary laws have limited effect. Consider instead allowing charitable deductions made by April 15, aka tax day, to be applied to the previous year's tax returns. As in other facets of life, people are prone to making their decisions concerning giving at the last minute. If tax software companies such as TurboTax could show taxpayers how donating an extra $100 or $1,000 would lower their taxable income, this would be a powerful marketing tool for charities.
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