Ask McFartnuggets: “Does Getting Mugged Count as Charity?”

Dear McFartnuggets: 
When I was walking home from work the other day I was mugged by a homeless crackhead. He didn’t hurt me he just showed me a shank and said “Gimme dat money, fella!” I’m paraphrasing, I was too afraid to remember what he said exactly. Of course I handed over the contents of my wallet and he scurried off into the night. I suppose I could have given chase, but I figured that should count as charity. I gave a homeless drug addict some money. Technically he took it, but the end result is the same so what difference does it make? What I’m trying to ask is can I deduct this on my tax return? -- Norman from Miami, Florida

Dear Norman:
While you’re correct that the end result is the same in a mugging and charitable giving, I don’t think it does count as charity simply because it wasn’t voluntary. A big part of giving money to people who need it is the willingness to give the money. It’s not good enough to just have people in need end up with your money, it’s wanting to give it to them that makes you a good person. For example, the rich people that Robin Hood took money from to give to the poor wouldn’t necessarily be considered philanthropists. That being said, I do believe you can claim theft on your taxes as long as you had a police report filed and can prove that the money was taken from you by the cops.

Forced charity is still technically charity.

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