Rules for Claiming the Charitable Contribution Deduction
Your gift must meet certain criteria in order to be tax-deductible.
- You must actually donate. A pledge or promise to donate is not deductible until you actually pay.
- You must contribute to a qualified tax-exempt organization. Charities will let you know if they have received their 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status. Some organizations are not required to obtain 501(c)(3) status from the IRS. These include churches and other religious organizations.
- You must be able to itemize. Giving to charity is a great tax planning strategy, but it only works for people who are eligible to itemize their deductions.
- You must meet record keeping requirements. This includes saving canceled checks, acknowledgment letters from the charity, and appraisals for donated property.