What Are the IRS Rules for Charitable Tax Deductions?


Quick Answer

To receive tax deductions, taxpayers must contribute to qualified charities, reports the Internal Revenue Service. The IRS limits the total deduction amount a taxpayer can claim. The type of evidence a taxpayer uses to prove the amount of a donation varies depending on the donation's value.

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Full Answer

Qualified charitable organizations for tax deduction purposes include state programs for public purposes, religious institutions, veterans' organizations and civil defense organizations, explains the IRS. They also include corporations, trusts, foundations and community chests set up for educational, scientific, literary and humanitarian purposes. Organizations that do not qualify include political parties, professional or business associations, labor unions, foreign governments, or for-profit hospitals and schools, states About.com. The IRS assesses non-cash property at fair market value. The IRS limits the deduction amount a taxpayer can claim depending on the type of organization a taxpayer donates to and the nature of the donation, explains the IRS.

As of 2015, to prove the value of non-cash gifts worth less than $250, taxpayers need simple receipts with the charitable organization's name and location, the date, and a description of the donation, according to Nolo. For donations of $250 to $500, taxpayers need a receipt from the charity that stipulates whether the organization gave any gift in return. For donations over $500, taxpayers must fill out Form 8283, Non-cash Charitable Contributions. Taxpayers who give non-cash gifts worth more than $5,000 must have a qualified appraiser value the property.

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