Japanese Corporate Philanthropy

By Nancy R. London | Go to book overview

5
Taxation

Tax-exempt status follows automatically from the granting of nonprofit status to an organization by the supervising ministry and, as such, is subject to all the discretion inherent in that approval process. The rules that govern the deductibility of contributions, on the other hand, are within the purview of the Finance Ministry and are laid down with greater specificity, though still subject to a great deal of discretion. In this chapter we shall consider the major provisions of the tax law affecting nonprofit organizations, as well as some problems with the current system and proposals for reform.

When we think of nonprofit organizations in the United States, tax considerations come immediately to mind because of the major influence that taxation (or the exemption there from) exerts over the life and vitality of these organizations. The tax system both reflects our society's attitude toward nonprofit organizations and, to a great extent, molds their behavior, and the behavior of their donors.

Tax benefits designed for nonprofit enterprises in the United States fall into two main categories, those that affect the organization itself (namely, exemption from tax) and those that affect the donors (namely, reduction of personal tax burdens through the deduction of contributed amounts). The principal exemptions and deductions available to both organizations and individuals are provided through the complex operation of the federal income and estate tax laws. 1 To illustrate the magnitude of the benefit allowed by the federal income tax law, Professor John Simon estimated that in 1985, nonprofit organizations generated approximately $110 billion in fee, sale, and investment revenue that was exempt from income tax. In the same year, he calculated, such organizations received approximately $50 billion in federal tax-deductible contributions. 2

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Japanese Corporate Philanthropy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Contents xi
  • 1 - Introduction 3
  • Notes 8
  • 2 - Themes and Corollaries 10
  • Notes 20
  • 3 - The Development of the Nonprofit System 24
  • Notes 32
  • 4 - Establishing a Foundation Law and Practice 36
  • Notes 58
  • 5 - Taxation 66
  • Notes 90
  • 6 - The Philanthropic Process -- Management, Operation, and Grant Making 99
  • Notes 119
  • 7 - Recent Developments and Future Directions 123
  • Notes 129
  • Index 133
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