NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Tax Code and Attack Victims

November 16, 2001

Americans have contributed some $1.3 billion for victims of the terrorist attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. Yet the charities that collected the money are at risk of being punished if they give funds to many of the victims.

  • Steven Miller of the Internal Revenue Service told Congress last week, "An affected individual generally isnot entitled to charitable funds without a showing of need."
  • If a tax-exempt charity gives money to a person whose income is above a certain level, the charity could lose its tax-exempt status.
  • New York's attorney general has said he intends to set up a database to make sure the distributions accord with "equity," so much of the money sits undistributed.

Source: Daniel Henninger, "Charity Begins at Home, Ends Up Nowhere," Wall Street Journal, November 16, 2001.

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