Many alumni can’t get tickets to their alma mater’s home games unless they make a special “donation” to the university. Under current law, 80 percent of such contributions are deductible. The Obama administration has proposed closing the loophole to raise an estimated $2.5 billion over the next decade.
The blind are eligible for a higher standard deduction; the deaf or otherwise disabled don’t get special treatment. A songwriter who sells his music catalog pays a capital gains tax on the earnings. But painters, photographers, writers, and other artists selling a body of work are subject to income taxes, which can be significantly higher.
Mixed (Car) Signals
Buyers of energy-efficient hybrid and electric cars are eligible for a federal tax credit of as much as $7,500. Yet the tax code also encourages businesses to buy gas-guzzling SUVs, vans, and pickup trucks by making it easier to depreciate the cost of a vehicle that weighs more than 6,000 pounds.