One Reason to Think Twice About Charitible Giving

If you sent a tsunami relief donation to OxFam thinking you would be helping a family recover from the disaster, think again. You just might have helped the relief organization pay a tax.

British charity Oxfam has had to pay the Sri Lankan government $1m in import duty for vehicles used in tsunami reconstruction work. Paperwork had kept the 25 four-wheel drive vehicles idle in the capital, Colombo, for a month. The Sri Lankan government told the BBC News website the aid had been duty-free until the end of April but was now needed to prevent ”market distortions”. Sri Lankan customs had charged $5,000 a day while the vehicles were processed.

It’s stories like this that cause people to have second thoughts about giving ANYTHING to charity. You’ll never be sure that your hard earned money will really help the people who need it most. More often than not, your donation will end up paying a CEO’s salary or wind up in the coffers of a government agency somewhere.

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