“High Income Taxpayers’ Charitable Donations – Evidence from Taiwan’s Comprehensive Tax Returns”

Shih-Ying Wu, National Tsing Hua University

High-income givers are of particular interest in charitable giving because their contributions account for a disproportionate fraction of total contributions and their charitable behaviors are generally complicated. This study aims to provide further evidence on very high income taxpayers’ charitable donations by utilizing a large panel of comprehensive tax returns over 2004-2005 from Taiwan. We have detailed information reported on tax returns for a panel of 48,312 high income taxpayers, who are the top 1% taxpayers for 2004. With the large panel of high income taxpayers, we are able to examine the patterns of the high-income individuals, the determinants of their charitable giving, and compare the findings with previous studies. Our preliminary statistics reveal that the ratios of donations to total income vary substantially among taxpayers in the top 1% group, ranging from zero to 20%. Moreover, a taxpayers ratios of donations to total income also vary significantly between 2004 and 2005. In summary, the ratios of donations to total income are heterogeneous between taxpayers and over time.