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IRS.gov Website
Publication 17
taxmap/pub17/p17-130.htm#en_us_publink100034176

When To Deduct(p168)

rule
You can deduct your contributions only in the year you actually make them in cash or other property (or in a later carryover year, as explained later under Carryovers). This applies whether you use the cash or an accrual method of accounting.
taxmap/pub17/p17-130.htm#en_us_publink100034177

Time of making contribution.(p168)

rule
Usually, you make a contribution at the time of its unconditional delivery.
taxmap/pub17/p17-130.htm#en_us_publink100034178
Checks.(p168)
A check that you mail to a charity is considered delivered on the date you mail it.
taxmap/pub17/p17-130.htm#en_us_publink100034179
Credit card.(p168)
Contributions charged on your credit card are deductible in the year you make the charge.
taxmap/pub17/p17-130.htm#en_us_publink100034180
Pay-by-phone account.(p168)
If you use a pay-by-phone account, the date the financial institution pays the amount is the date you make a contribution.
taxmap/pub17/p17-130.htm#en_us_publink100034181
Stock certificate.(p168)
A gift to a charity of a properly endorsed stock certificate is completed on the date of mailing or other delivery to the charity or to the charity's agent. However, if you give a stock certificate to your agent or to the issuing corporation for transfer to the name of the charity, your gift is not completed until the date the stock is transferred on the books of the corporation.
taxmap/pub17/p17-130.htm#en_us_publink100034182
Promissory note.(p168)
If you issue and deliver a promissory note to a charitable organization as a contribution, it is not a contribution until you make the note payments.
taxmap/pub17/p17-130.htm#en_us_publink100034183
Option.(p168)
If you grant an option to buy real property at a bargain price to a charitable organization, you cannot take a deduction until the organization exercises the option.
taxmap/pub17/p17-130.htm#en_us_publink100034184
Borrowed funds.(p168)
If you make a contribution with borrowed funds, you can deduct the contribution in the year you make it, regardless of when you repay the loan.