San Francisco (Jan. 5, 2004) –- Gifts by the 400 wealthiest taxpayers in the U.S. accounted for about 7 percent of all charitable gifts reported on income tax returns for the year 2000, according to NewTithing Group, a nonprofit donor education and research organization.


However, the San Francisco-based group said that the top 400 American tax filers could have donated an additional $19 billion between 1997 and 2000 without sacrificing their lifestyle by donating, rather than selling, long-term appreciated assets. Its report, which is available at www.newtithing.org, is based on Internal Revenue Service data for 2000, the year for which the latest data is available.


In 2000, the wealthiest 400 taxpayers donated a combined $10.1 billion to charity, compared to $4.4 billion, or 3.5 percent of all individual giving, in 1999, and $2.4 billion, or 2.4 percent, in 1997. Nearly all of the increase came from gifts of assets.


During the four-year period from 1997 to 2000, average salaries for that group more than doubled to approximately $30 million a year, according to NewTithing’s president and executive director, Tim Stone. Average assets for such filers, not counting the value of their personal homes and possessions, nearly doubled to over half a billion dollars each, Stone said.


-- WebCPA staff

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