What Does the IRS Consider to Be Charitable Contributions?


Quick Answer

Property or other assets donated to charities are deducted based on the fair market value of the property. For a contribution to be charitable, the IRS requires the organization that receives the contribution to qualify under section 170(c) of the Internal Revenue Code, according to its official website.

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Full Answer

The IRS reports there are several different types of organizations that qualify under section 170(c), including churches, synagogues, other religious organizations and nonprofit volunteer fire companies. Contributions must be made before the end of a given tax year. Most contributions are limited to 50 percent of a person's adjusted gross income. Assets that have appreciated in value are subject to adjustments. Some Canadian organizations qualify as charitable contributions for U.S. taxpayers because of a reciprocal tax treaty. Contributions to organizations located outside of the United States and Canada are not tax deductible.

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