Tax Incentives and Organ Donation

If you were compensated, or given a tax break for becoming a living organ donor, would you donate?

This is a question that has been highly researched within the last couple of years in order to increase the number of donors and donated organs. Becoming a living donor is easier than one may think, and all major religions in the U.S. support organ donation. In fact, the number of unrelated living donors has tripled since 1998. As a living donor, you are able to donate a kidney, lobe of your liver, or even part of a lung and continue on with a happy, healthy life!

In the United States, 17 states offer a tax incentive to donate organs or marrow. These states are Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin. For example, residents of Louisiana who donate are allowed to take a tax credit as much as $10,000 on their state income taxes for travel, lodging, and lost wages related to the donation process. To see tax incentives and related donation laws for your state, click here.

Despite these incentives, the number of living donors has not increased. It may be an issue of limited time and finances, the donor not knowing the recipient, or the fear of complications or costs as a result of living donation. In other cases, people want to be compensated directly for donating organs, but in 1984 the National Organ Transplant Act made it illegal to be compensated for donating organs. View more on the National Organ Transplant Act here.

While it appears that these tax incentives are not increasing the number of living donors, many people feel that they should still be in effect. For those who do decide to donate, they are able to take advantage of the tax incentive, therefore helping with different financial aspects of the donation process.

For those thinking about becoming a living donor, take time to review what tax incentives may be offered by your state. It is important to make sure that you are equipped for this journey and have all the necessary information about the transplant process.

More than 116,000 people in the United States are current awaiting a transplant. You have the ability as a living donor to donate the Gift of Life to reduce the number of people awaiting a lifesaving transplant.

Help others become living donors by supporting the American Transplant Foundation’s lifesaving initiatives. Your financial donation can be as valuable as a living donation. Learn more about living donation and our Patient Assistance Program.

3 replies
  1. Eric Beutz
    Eric Beutz says:

    My wife donated a kidney 2 weeks ago to a friend with PKD. We are trying to find out more information about the tax incentive. We live in Colorado, she donated to her friend in California.

    Do you have any idea where we would look for more info?

    Reply
  2. Cori Vance
    Cori Vance says:

    I think this is something others should be aware of. I donated my kidney in November to my step mother who has PKD. Many others had tried to donate, but didn’t want to lose their jobs. I actually ended up losing mine and lost wages because I had only been working there 7 months and was not able to get FMLA.
    This is why some are scared to donate because lost of wages affects their financial issues. I think people need to look more deeply into this.

    Reply

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