Why you're an idiot if you don't max out your company's charitable donation match

IBM shabbat
Oct 14 59 Comments

Assume you work in Cali and make at least 170k gross.
Assume your company does 1:1 donation match up to 6k (standard G policy). Remember that donations are tax deductible.

The total marginal income tax in Cali at 170k is 32+9.3 (fed+state) = 41.3%

$6000 * 0.587 = $3522

Therefore, if you choose to give up just $3522 in post-tax money, you can have a total charitable impact of $12,000 😮😮

There is such an insanely compelling quantitative incentive to donate $3522 that you'd either have to be ignorant of the math, pathologically irrational or a complete miser to forgo your company's donation match each year.

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TOP 59 Comments
  • Facebook ⭕️v⭕️
    I don’t believe in charity. Most of these charities misuse the money. I rather give money to my loved ones and people close to me that I actually know.
    Oct 14 6
    • Facebook ⭕️v⭕️
      Thanks for responding with class. Maybe there is. But I just don’t have the time to research something I believe in. Charity to me just sounds scammish. If I give my mom $200 I know it can really help her
      Oct 14
    • Roku cruella
      If research is the only thing keeping you: Doctors without borders. Or against malaria foundation.
      They both do good work.
      Oct 14
    • IBM shabbat
      OP
      Facebook, that's such a common problem that there's a whole industry/subculture around identifying the most effective charities. I think an hour or two of research would be enough to decide on something. Else you can always donate to something local. Maybe a food bank or homeless shelter near to you.
      Oct 14
    • Twitter
      🐨 koala

      Twitter

      BIO
      I got a bio now. Do you?
      🐨 koalamore
      @ibm you only donate to charity to make yourself feel good. Donating is actually a selfish act. It makes you feel morally superior to others.
      Oct 14
    • IBM shabbat
      OP
      Well that's an if-by-whiskey. Yes, the biological origin of altruism is indeed selfish - herd fitness is evolutionary fitness, and probably causes the release of the right neurochemicals to trigger happiness.

      However, I do find meaning and fulfilment in having an impact. I think the world should be better because you exist in it. That doesn't have to be through charity but it's one way. Even if this post induced one person to spend a minute thinking about it rather than skipping over their employer's charity match like it doesn't apply to them, then I've made an impact and the world is different for my actions. Does that make me feel superior? Well ofc, we're all slaves to our primal reward system.
      Oct 14
  • Facebook Oftg
    No wonder you work at IBM...just have to be absurd enough to call others idiot
    Oct 14 3
    • Roku cruella
      Care to explain?
      Oct 14
    • IBM shabbat
      OP
      If you'd rather take $3.5k on a 170k TC than give $12k to a charity/institution/school/church then idiocy is actually the kindest assumption one can make about you.
      Oct 14
    • Google / Eng
      .:

      Google Eng

      PRE
      Samsung Electronics
      .:more
      I'd rather give that money to a drug addict than to a church. But otherwise it's wiser to max out... Only that can't find a lot of charity that matches my causes.
      Oct 15
  • TiVo / IT LmEM18
    The only idiot here is the one telling others how they should spend their money.
    Oct 14 0
  • Microsoft hackerx
    Don't you have to choose itemize deduction to deduct the donation for tax return? Under Trump's new tax law, itemized deductions don't make sense for most people anymore
    Oct 14 1
    • IBM shabbat
      OP
      Trump is a temporary phenomenon. When Dems win, there is no way they're keeping that tax bill as the SALT limit pretty much seems to exist to target people in blue states.
      Oct 15
  • Bloomberg TimeToPlay
    [[ Why you’re an idiot if you don’t max out your company’s charitable donation match. ]]

    ➡️ Why you’re the idiot if you don’t know how to refrain from pushing your values and beliefs onto others.

    OP you can donate your entire TC to charity, and you’ll still be a POS. Rare accomplishment, congratulations!
    Oct 14 3
    • IBM shabbat
      OP
      Rationality is not a belief.
      Oct 14
    • Bloomberg TimeToPlay
      If one were to boil your post down to a rational statement it would look like so: “If you make $170K, then $6,000 pre tax is $3,522 post tax, which is less than 2 x $6,000.” The rest of the statement puts you in the same camp with those who hurt people who don’t share their faith.
      Oct 14
    • IBM shabbat
      OP
      Too many inflated egos around here who go ballistic when their intellectual superiority is challenged. Everyone thinks they're financially savvy and have it all figured out, but somehow people skip over doing the math on charity match like it's "not applicable" for them.

      But yes I concede, maybe should've been less blunt.
      Oct 14
  • Roku cruella
    I hope people have heard of the analogy of a child drowning in a shallow pond while u don't save the children cuz u are wearing a $2000 shoes.

    Edit: I don't understand the defensive posture so many (almost all) are taking in comments below.

    If you don't want to donate. Then don't. No one is calling anyone less moral for not donating. Why so defensive?
    Oct 14 1
    • Roku cruella
      For those who aren't familiar, I'd suggest they read "lives you can save" by peter singer.
      Oct 14
  • Google bc89
    Some people need those $3522 for themselves, but yes, it is very efficient tax wise
    Oct 14 2
    • Roku cruella
      I can understand some people do. But also more often than not that necessity is misplaced.
      Oct 14
    • Google bc89
      A few ideas:
      Many of us are trying to save up for a down payment on a house, which takes multiple years to build up in the bay area. It can be hard to save enough to get there without cutting all discretionary spending.

      Alternatively, if you can invest an extra $3522 per year in your early work career (ex: while in your 20s), the compounding returns make that a very significant contribution by retirement. If you're in your 40s or 50s, the impact to your retirement fund is much smaller since you don't have to forego as many years of compounding returns, so it's less painful to forego.

      With the extremely high cost of housing and long work hours + high pressure in the bay area (which can make it difficult to work until your 60s), I can see merit to both reasons to cut as much discretionary spending as you can, even when it's for a good cause like charity donations. Then it comes down to personal priorities, not necessarily being uninformed.
      Oct 15
  • Google dcb4
    I don't like your attitude - seems like you are calling anyone that doesn't want to donate to charity an ass.

    But your math is sound and I donate as I see fit. But I would almost forgo giving money just to see your pompous head explode
    Oct 15 13
    • Google dcb4
      Hahaha. @op there are so many examples of the govt giving people businesses through reappropriation and it failing miserably.

      Capitalism works.

      Freedom to make my own decisions works. Stop believing you are the best person to make decisions. I will not donate money this year purely because you are a douche.
      Oct 15
    • IBM shabbat
      OP
      I agree but many of the GD recipients spend their money on school fees. Again, the "market" usually exists or can be induced into to existence if people have the disposable income to spend on education, say. Also, this scales well. Foreigners building and running schools is very hard to scale.
      Oct 15
    • IBM shabbat
      OP
      @dcb4 that's some black mirror dystopia shit. Imagine the cure to cancer is "missed" by $10k because some rich ahole had a pissy day.
      Oct 15
    • Flowcast lulll
      Ibm you’re a troll.
      Oct 15
    • Google dcb4
      Sigh....this is why we need to ban ibm from blind. This guy is a DF. Nobody wants to talk politics in here. Especially with someone that is not open minded.
      Oct 15
  • By keeping the $3,522, I can have more of a positive impact in the world than the fucking ACLU or Red Cross with $12,000. Yes, I'm a god.
    Oct 15 1
    • Microsoft
      Tier 1

      Microsoft

      BIO
      #1 in Prestige
      Tier 1more
      There are much better charities out there...
      Oct 15
  • Apple net worth
    How do we get a deduction if we don’t itemize. There is a $10k cap on state taxes. Standard deduction that everyone gets is 24k if married. So your first $14k of charitable donations actually get you no deduction. Only amounts above $14k get you the tax benefits
    Oct 15 2
    • Rakuten / Ops
      tooQ10

      Rakuten Ops

      PRE
      Rakuten USA
      BIO
      Obligatory: YoE 20, TC 41k. Such is life for us non-SWE office monkeys!
      tooQ10more
      Right; you need a really high TC for itemizing to be worth it to begin with. OP's hypothetical 170k earner would, but we working stiffs making under 50 don't itemize. My charity consists mostly of giving change to homeless people and buying from poor people selling stuff on the street.
      Oct 16
    • Apple net worth
      Even if you make $300k you don’t have anything to itemize since state and property taxes were the biggest deduction before. Now they cap that to $10k even if you owe $100k in state and property taxes. So even high earners don’t
      Oct 17
  • New
    Uncle Xi

    New

    PRE
    Google
    Uncle Ximore
    You're an idiot if you pay > 10% in taxes.
    Oct 14 2
    • The Trust for Public Land / Data GhostBeef
      Got any tips?
      Oct 15
    • Flowcast lulll
      Be homeless and in poverty?
      Oct 15
  • Microsoft avR
    I gave my charity to Trump election
    Oct 14 0
  • Roku NBC red
    Why would I give money to random “charities” that abuse the money when I can give them to my cousins stuck in 3rd world countries whom I know I’m making a difference? OP you sound like an epic douchbag for assuming that everyone is an idiot for not aligning with your thought and actions...moreover why would you assume that everyone is in the same financial comfort that you’re in that $200/month is disposable income?
    Oct 15 1
    • IBM shabbat
      OP
      a) Why not both?

      b) There's charities like GiveDirectly where 90% of your donated dollar is directly transferred to someone in extreme poverty. Since the purchasing power is so different, what is $1000 to you probably doubles their annual income.
      Oct 15
  • Boeing prince t
    sorrrry i feel dumb.... i donate $6000 pretax/$3522 after tax... but i claim 12k on my deductions? pretty sure that's not how it works, brah. you can only claim what you personally donate. your company claims/deducts what they put in. am i wrong? or am i missing smthing here? thanks, gang. not sure if laws on this are different, but for the record, i live in WA.
    Oct 15 3
    • Microsoft / Eng
      KRtA21

      Microsoft Eng

      PRE
      Google
      KRtA21more
      No you donate 6k after tax. When you do your tax deductions it ends up only costing $3522 after the tax savings. But that $6k you originally donated was matched by your company so $12k impact but it only cost you $3522
      Oct 15
    • Boeing prince t
      thank you!

      but once again, feeling dumb. seems like that's $3522 in my pocket.... versus not.

      i am a staunch liberal/progressive/leftist/whatever. i donate loads of my time. but i am not in a place to just give away a couple grand a year. i gotta pay rent in seattle!!!!
      Oct 15
    • New BupL14
      There’s no tax deduction unless you itemize. So unless your own property with a mortgage big enough then this ain’t going to work regardless.
      Oct 15
  • Google dcb4
    I'll donate money to any cause if Op leaves blind immediately
    Oct 15 2
    • IBM shabbat
      OP
      The second time you're commenting here with the same thing. Does this post trigger you?
      Oct 15
    • Google dcb4
      Just angry people that try to convince others that insulting them is the best way to change their patterns
      Oct 15
  • Roku / Eng
    yredtjhdd

    Roku Eng

    PRE
    Amazon
    yredtjhddmore
    I'm just waiting for Google to add the charity for greedy googlers.. all proceeds go back to googlers.
    Oct 14 0
  • This comment was deleted by original commenter.

    • IBM shabbat
      OP
      Yes, because it's $6k off the "top" only.
      Oct 14
  • Uber / Eng mH7bSe
    Throwing away money is stupid.
    Oct 15 0
  • Disney Streaming Services yabu
    OP, you are cheating the government out of its tax revenue by not paying your fair share.
    Oct 15 0

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