The following provisions have expired and will not apply for 2009.
- The higher standard mileage rate and exclusion for mileage reimbursements if you used your car to provide relief related to Midwestern disaster areas.
- Temporary suspension of the 50% limit and the overall limit on itemized deductions for Midwestern disaster area contributions.
- Special rule for donations of food inventory by farmers and ranchers.
Limit on itemized deductions.(p163)
If your adjusted gross income is more than $166,800 ($83,400 if you are married filing separately), the overall amount of your itemized deductions may be limited. See chapter 29
for more information about this limit.
This chapter explains how to claim a deduction for your charitable contributions. It discusses the following topics.
- Organizations that are qualified to receive deductible charitable contributions.
- The types of contributions you can deduct.
- How much you can deduct.
- What records to keep.
- How to report your charitable contributions.
A charitable contribution is a donation or gift to, or for the use of, a qualified organization. It is voluntary and is made without getting, or expecting to get, anything of equal value. taxmap/pub17/p17-129.htm#en_us_publink100034099
To deduct a charitable contribution, you must file Form 1040 and itemize deductions on Schedule A. The amount of your deduction may be limited if certain rules and limits explained in this chapter apply to you. taxmap/pub17/p17-129.htm#TXMP4e85fe78
You may want to see:
Publication 78 Cumulative List of Organizations 526 Charitable Contributions 561 Determining the Value of Donated Property Form (and Instructions) Schedule A (Form 1040): Itemized Deductions 8283: Noncash Charitable Contributionstaxmap/pub17/p17-129.htm#en_us_publink100034100
You can deduct your contributions only if you make them to a qualified organization. To become a qualified organization, most organizations other than churches and governments, as described below, must apply to the IRS.
You can ask any organization whether it is a qualified organization, and most will be able to tell you. Or you can check IRS Publication 78, which lists most qualified organizations. You may find Publication 78 in your local library's reference section. Or you can find it on the Internet at apps.irs.gov/app/pub78
. You can also call the IRS at 1-877-829-5500 to find out if an organization is qualified. (For TTY/TDD help, call 1-800-829-4059).
Generally, only the five following types of organizations can be qualified organizations.
- A community chest, corporation, trust, fund, or foundation organized or created in or under the laws of the United States, any state, the District of Columbia, or any possession of the United States (including Puerto Rico). It must be organized and operated only for one or more of the following purposes.
Certain organizations that foster national or international amateur sports competition also qualify.
- The prevention of cruelty to children or animals.
- War veterans' organizations, including posts, auxiliaries, trusts, or foundations, organized in the United States or any of its possessions.
- Domestic fraternal societies, orders, and associations operating under the lodge system. Note. Your contribution to this type of organization is deductible only if it is to be used solely for charitable, religious, scientific, literary, or educational purposes, or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals.
- Certain nonprofit cemetery companies or corporations. Note. Your contribution to this type of organization is not deductible if it can be used for the care of a specific lot or mausoleum crypt.
- The United States or any state, the District of Columbia, a U.S. possession (including Puerto Rico), a political subdivision of a state or U.S. possession, or an Indian tribal government or any of its subdivisions that perform substantial government functions. Note. To be deductible, your contribution to this type of organization must be made solely for public purposes.
The following list gives some examples of qualified organizations.
- Churches, a convention or association of churches, temples, synagogues, mosques, and other religious organizations.
- Most nonprofit charitable organizations such as the Red Cross and the United Way.
- Most nonprofit educational organizations, including the Boy (and Girl) Scouts of America, colleges, museums, and daycare centers if substantially all the child care provided is to enable individuals (the parents) to be gainfully employed and the services are available to the general public. However, if your contribution is a substitute for tuition or other enrollment fee, it is not deductible as a charitable contribution, as explained later under Contributions You Cannot Deduct.
- Nonprofit hospitals and medical research organizations.
- Utility company emergency energy programs, if the utility company is an agent for a charitable organization that assists individuals with emergency energy needs.
- Nonprofit volunteer fire companies.
- Public parks and recreation facilities.
- Civil defense organizations.
Under income tax treaties with Canada, Israel, and Mexico, you may be able to deduct contributions to certain Canadian, Israeli, or Mexican charitable organizations. Generally, you must have income from sources in that country. For additional information on the deduction of contributions to Canadian charities, see Publication 597, Information on the United States–Canada Income Tax Treaty. If you need more information on how to figure your contribution to Mexican and Israeli charities, see Publication 526.