News / Calgary

Alberta political donations stay put as PC government cuts charitable tax credit

While Alberta is cutting the donation for charitable tax credits in its latest budget, frustrating some charities, tax rebates for political donations remain as lucrative as ever.

In 2007, the province raised the tax credit for charitable donations from 12.75 per cent to 21 per cent on amounts over $200. But as of 2016, that will return to the previous amount.

Gerald Kastendieck, a spokesperson for the department of finance, said in addition to being a cost-saving measure, lowering the charitable credit recognizes that people give for other reasons than tax rebates.

He said raising the tax credit “was intended to encourage more donations and recognize Albertans where making these contributions, but it wasn’t as effective as it was anticipated.”

Meanwhile, the donation tax credit for political donations remains untouched, at 75 per cent for the first $200 of donations.

That credit falls to 50 per cent for donations between $201 and $1,100 and to 33 per cent for amounts over $1,100.

The maximum tax credit for a political donation is $1,000.

Travis Grant, director of advancement and social enterprise at the Edmonton Humane Society, said the organization would miss the tax rebate at 21 per cent.

“We thought it was a good program. It is something that really helped organizations like ours,” he said.

Grant said people who donate to the society do so because they want to help animals, but the tax credit can be a boost to donations.

“There is that added incentive that by doing so that they do get that tax credit,” he said.

Edmonton’s United Way was more optimistic

“While charitable tax credits are a benefit, most often, people choose to give because they want to stand behind a cause they believe in,” said Myrna Khan, vice president resource development in a statement.

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