Tax breaks: Bait and switch
Giving to a good cause feels great. So does getting to deduct your donation.
Not every charitable gift, however, is tax deductible.
If you claim the standard deduction, you can’t take tax advantage of charitable gifts. Donations are deductible only if you itemize.
Contributions, be they cash or property, also must go to groups in good standing with the Internal Revenue Service. If they aren’t, you can’t claim your charitable donations.
And gifts to many legitimate good causes aren’t deductible because of the way the collection is structured. For example, the money you dropped in a jar at the local diner to help a family wiped out by a fire is not tax deductible. Neither are the expenses you picked up for your child who does missionary work. Regardless of the worthy intentions, the IRS considers these gifts to individuals, not to a registered charity.
And all those raffle tickets you bought to support your child’s school programs can’t be claimed as charitable donations either.
So keep giving as much as you want to all the good causes you support. Just know that you might not be able to deduct all your gifts.