Charities hurting because of 'fiscal cliff' uncertainty

Less donating to non-profit organizations this holiday season

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - There are plenty of people who are having a hard time deciding what to do about this year's taxes, especially when it comes to writing check to their favorite charities.

The question is wait, or not to wait? This is because no one is sure what's on the other side of the fiscal cliff. That uncertainty is affecting almost every non-profit.

The unknown has folks holding back, holding onto money they would otherwise donate to charities like the Daniel Foundation.

"We will be running on the hamster wheel twice as hard in order to be able to achieve the plans that we have for raising money for Daniel," said David Ashley with the Daniel Foundation.

Some hoard their money while others just hold out for next year.  If Congress doesn't change any of the limits on charitable giving, certified public accountant Mark Patrick says you'll get more bang for your buck in 2013 when taxes will be higher.

"But if all of our rates go up, which the fiscal cliff is proposing would happen, then we would have higher rates and you would get a larger benefit," said Patrick. "But since you are paying more taxes, then you might not have the money to donate so it all goes around."

For that reason, many charities like the Daniel Foundation have seen a drop in the amount of money they've gotten this holiday season, a season that traditionally is full of giving because of Christmas spirit and the end of a tax year.

Folks at Goodwill say there are plenty who are doing just that. They have 200 to 300 people donating at the Mandarin Center each day and potential caps to charitable giving are likely to blame. They are a part of the President's plan and Patrick said it would change your refund.

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