Dept. of Geek Tax Breaks

The gifts that keep giving back

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Yes, it's tax time. Again. There you are, sorting through your shoebox of receipts, searching to find something, anything, that might qualify as a charitable deduction. Those faint chits with the unreadable headers? Come on, you know those are from the corner deli. But what's this? A donation to the X Prize? Congratulations, you've redirected a few of your dollars not only to the future of space travel but away from the federal government: The X Prize Foundation is a tax-free nonprofit. Here, some other potential deductions you may not have realized you qualify for. (And if you didn't give last year, there are always next year's taxes to prepare for.) Who knew you could do your part to help find extraterrestrial life -- or spit in the eye of Microsoft -- with
Uncle Sam's blessing?

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Defends First Amendment rights and promotes fair intellectual-property laws online. eff.org

FAIR-Society (Future Asteroid Interception Research)

Dedicated to deflecting asteroids on a collision course with our humble home. It's good to know that someone is watching our backs. fair-society.org

GNU Project

This group is developing a free, open-source, Unix-like operating system,
to stop proprietary software from holding programmers back. "Hacking" doesn't have to be a dirty word. www.gnu.org

SETI Institute

On the vanguard in the hunt for extraterrestrial intelligence. No one likes to be alone. seti.org

The Planetary Society

Founded by Carl Sagan et al. to promote exploration of the solar system. With all the hype about Mars and the Moon, this just might be the only major non-NASA group still advocating for a mission to Pluto. planetary.org

Society for Amateur Scientists

Just because the Ph.D. didn't quite happen doesn't mean you don't have plenty to contribute. sas.org

The X Prize Foundation

Bent on inspiring entrepreneurs to build the tourist rockets of tomorrow, for ever-expanding vacation choices. Why go mountain climbing when you can go suborbital? xprize.org