This post was originally published on Forbes Mar 14, 2015This is an emergency tax caution. Like most geeky people I have been focused on today being π Day - 3/14/15 like 3.1415. Never mind. If I have to explain it to you, you will never get it. It turns out however that this day has been also been proclaimed to be Steak and ________ Day. Here is the link, but don't go there if you have not been entirely purged of residual Puritanism or self identify as a radical feminist. I'll explain as best I can within the parameters of a respectable tax blog.
Everybody knows about Valentine's Day February 14. We celebrate romance - flowers and candy - and the like by commemorating somebody who might have existed who became a martyr. Also there was this unfortunate incident in Chicago.
Anyway there is kind of a consensus that on Saint Valentines Day with the flowers and candy and dinner out, men are performing for women. March 14 is, I suppose, recompense for February 14th. No need to go out. Just cook your man a steak and, well.
The female member of the partnership (BTW this event seems to be tinged with heterosexualism) does something that most men are very enthusiastic about, while female enthusiasm runs the gamut. If you can't figure it out, you were probably more focused on it being π Day and don't have to worry about the rest.
Anyway when the site came up on my facebook feed, I thought it was satirical. Having an inquiring mind I felt bound to investigate. It turns out that as I dug down all indications to the contrary notwithstanding, it is not satire. Besides explaining the rationale, there is quite a bit of advice about how to cook a steak and you know.
The serious part of the site is what is causing me to issue the emergency tax caution. There is a charitable component to this. If you send in a donation they will send an invitation to your partner. Guys, think real hard before you do that. They will keep 20% and 80% will go to a charity that is dedicated to raising breast cancer awareness. That of course sends my BS detector into high gear.
You will probably not be shocked to find out that Steak and ______ Day does not show up on guidestar.org. Digging a little further in the site you will find that the donation actually goes to, forgive me, I am not making this up, an organization called Coppafeel. It turns out that Coppafeel actually is a legitimate charitable organization.
COPPAFEEL! AIMS IS TO STAMP OUT LATE DETECTION AND MISDIAGNOSIS OF BREAST CANCER BY ENSURING THAT PEOPLE KNOW THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF BREAST CANCER, KNOW WHAT THEIR BREASTS LOOK AND FEEL LIKE NORMALLY, CHECK THEIR BREASTS REGULARLY THROUGHOUT THEIR LIFETIME AND HAVE THE CONFIDENCE TO SEEK MEDICAL REFERRAL WHEN THEY DETECT ABNORMALITIES.
The problem is that Coppafeel is a UK registered charity not a United States organization exempt under 501(c)(3). So your donation to Steak and _____ Day would not be deductible at all, as best as I could determine. I did not do deep research so I'm appealing to other tax experts to weigh in.
If you really want to get behind the spirit of this whole thing your best bet would probably be to send 20% of your donation directly to the sponsor or maybe just buy some of their tchotchkes and donate the balance to a qualified US charity with similar purposes.
I'm wondering if this odd holiday thing is a sign of Spring favor. Personally, if you are looking for an alternative holiday view that is a bit more salubrious I suggest you get behind Sober St. Patrick's Day on March 17.
By the way Steak and _______Day's website has many videos, none of which I would dare to embed here. They are not that graphic, but not nearly wholesome enough for my blog.