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Is My Charitable Contribution Tax Deductible?

Charitable contributions must be made to a qualified organization to be tax deductable.  In general, qualified organizations include:

  • Churches, synagogues, temples, mosques, and other religious organizations;
  • Federal, state and local governments, if solely for public purpose;
  • Nonprofit schools, hospitals, and volunteer fire companies;
  • Public parks and recreation facilities;
  • Public charities such as Salvation Army, Goodwill Industries, & Red Cross;
  • War Veterans groups.

Payments to individuals are never deductible.  For example, giving money at a benefit for an individual does not qualify for a tax deduction.  To see if an organization qualifies for a tax deduction go to the IRS “Search for Charities” at http://www.irs.gov/app/pub-78/.

To deduct your contribution you must keep records of the contributions you make throughout the year.  You should record the amount of each contribution and whether it was a cash or noncash contribution.  A written acknowledgment from the organization should be issued upon receiving your contribution.  This acknowledgement should be in writing and include the date, amount contributed, and a statement regarding whether the contribution was in an exchange for any type of tangible benefit.  Make sure to keep these records with your other tax documents for easy reporting.

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