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Give out of Gratitude this Giving Tuesday (and get a little tax break in return)

The Tuesday after Thanksgiving is known for being a popular day for charitable donations. So as giving Tuesday approaches, let's break down some tax implications around charitable donations.

Donations that are tax deductible

Most cash and property contributions to a charitable organization are deductible as an itemized deduction on Schedule A, Form 1040, Itemized Deductions

Cash contributions include:

  • Check

  • Credit card

  • Debit card

  • Unreimbursed out-of-pocket expenses in connection with volunteer services to a qualifying charitable organization

  • Donations of property other than cash are generally deductible at their fair market value

Donations that are not tax deductible

Not all donations or contributions are tax deductible. These contributions/donations are not tax deductible:

  • Made to a supporting organization

  • Intended to help establish or maintain a donor advised fund

  • Carried forward from prior years

  • Made to most private foundations

  • Made to charitable remainder trusts

  • Of time spent volunteering

Best practices

Here are a few ways to ensure that your charitable efforts are also tax deductible:

  • Use the Interactive Tax Assistant to help determine if a charitable contribution is deductible.

  • Get a written acknowledgement for any charitable contributions of $250 or more.(Most organizations do this by default. But if you didn't receive one you can always contact them and ask for one)

  • Research charities you are considering donating

IRS Tool

As you are deciding which organization to donate to- consider using this tool from the IRS: Tax Exempt Organization Search . This tool allows users to search for charities and provides information about an organization's federal tax status and filings.

Things to know about the tool:

  • Donors can use it to confirm an organization is tax-exempt and eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions.

  • Users can find out if an organization had its tax-exempt status revoked.

  • It does not list certain organizations that may be eligible to receive tax-deductible donations, including churches, organizations in a group ruling and governmental entities.

  • It lists organizations under the legal name or a "doing business as" name on file with the IRS. No separate listing of common or popular names is searchable

Working with a Professional

If you are already working with a professional to file your taxes then they will have a good idea about what qualifies for deductions. Just make sure to provide them with information about charitable donations and any written acknowledgement from the organization that you have.

If you have any questions please reach out!


This blog post is not a substitute for legal or financial advice and is not liable for any misinformation that may have been provided. This information has been provided by the IRS.


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