Donations and Tax: The Corporate Conundrum

This book focuses on the concept and functions of corporate charitable donations, exploring the tax policy factors to consider in the design of philanthropic regimes.

Why this book?

This book is focused on the concept and functions of corporate charitable donations.

Charitable giving practices have always been a feature of society and will continue to be so in the future. In any case, the current and more widespread understanding of what corporate charitable donations are and of what their functions are, i.e. as mostly altruistic and non-commercial actions, is obsolete. There is still a prevailing misconception regarding the absence of economic benefits for corporations that grant charitable donations. This misconception leads to a misunderstanding of what motivates corporations to donate. This greatly impacts the way tax systems are designed and drafted. In addition, it generates suspicion regarding corporate charitable actions.

This book provides a unique insight into the essential features of corporate charitable donations and their respective functions. It suggests a paradigm shift from an altruism-based approach to a functional approach that allows viewing donations as intrinsically bilateral relations, with benefits arising for both donor and donee. Building on this analysis, and with due consideration for constitutional and international law constraints, the book analyses how to improve the tax technical treatment of corporate charitable donations and perfect tax policy choices behind the tax system. It also provides a research breakthrough in legal and policy analysis, allowing for a move beyond the status quo, which is still mainly grounded in the understanding that any measures associated with donations are exceptional, qualifying as incentives or benefits that do not really form part of the structural features of a sound tax regime.

This book is of value to academics, tax practitioners, tax policymakers and politicians, but also to non-profit organizations, as well as to anyone interested in the topic of taxation of charitable donations and of the charitable sector.

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This book is part of the IBFD Doctoral Series

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Author(s)

Leonardo Marques dos Santos is a Tax and International Tax Law Professor at the Lisbon Law School of the Universidade Católica Portuguesa, Portugal, a tax lawyer, and a tax abitrator. His research agenda focuses, in particular, on the taxation of charitable donations and of non-profit entities. He completed the Doctoral Program in Law at the Universidade Católica Portuguesa, obtained an (Adv.) LL.M. in International Tax Law from the International Tax Centre, Leiden University, Netherlands, a Post-Graduation in Tax Law from the Instituto Superior de Gestão in Lisbon, Portugal, and received his law degree from Universidade Católica Portuguesa in Lisbon, Portugal.