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Personal Expense

Donated to Charity

Attended Charity Event

If you received anything in return for your donation you may only deduct the dollar amount that is more than the fair market value of the benefit you received. For example, you attend a fundraising dinner for a qualified non-profit organization and your ticket price is $65. If the regular price of the meal would have been $10, the amount of your deductible contribution would be $55.


Donated Property to Charity

Extra tax deductions may be as close as your closet. If you donated clothing, toys, furniture, or other household items to charity, you are allowed to deduct the fair market value of your donated items. All items donated must be in good condition or better to be eligible for a tax deduction. The IRS does not provide fixed formulas for determining the fair market value. The prices paid for similar items in thrift and consignment shops are good indicators of fair market value for household goods and clothing.


Donated Vehicle

If you donate a vehicle that has a fair market value over $500, your deduction depends on what the charity does with the vehicle. If the charity immediately sells the vehicle, your deduction may be limited to the gross proceeds from the sale. In addition, substantiation requirements for donated vehicles are stricter than with other charitable contributions.


Donations Must Be to a Qualified Charity

Keep in mind that you can deduct your contributions only if you make them to a qualified organization. You can ask any organization whether it is a qualified organization, or you can check online at EO Select Check on IRS.gov. Churches and governments are usually qualified organizations.


Donations to Individuals not Deductible

Donations to individuals not deductible Not every donation you make to a worthy cause is deductible as a charitable contribution. If you gave money to an individual in need, or to an organization and specified that the contribution was for an individual, you are not allowed to deduct the amount given. When you donate to non-qualified organizations such as civic leagues or social clubs, you cannot take a tax deduction.


Hosted an Exchange Student

If you have a foreign exchange student living in your home, you may be able to take up to $50 per month of the related expenses as a charitable deduction. In order for such expenses to qualify for the deduction, the following conditions must be met:

  • The student lives in your home under a written agreement between you and a qualified organization as part of a program to provide educational opportunities to the student.
  • The student must not be a relative

The student must be a full-time student at the high school level or below.

 

For more information see Publication 526 at www.irs.gov.