- Publication 526 - Introductory Material
- Publication 526 - Main Content
- Organizations That Qualify To Receive Deductible Contributions
- Contributions You Can Deduct
- Table 1.
- Contributions From Which You Benefit
- Expenses Paid for Student Living With You
- Out-of-Pocket Expenses in Giving Services
- Expenses of Whaling Captains
- Contributions You Can't Deduct
- Contributions of Property
- Contributions Subject to Special Rules
- Clothing and Household Items
- Cars, Boats, and Airplanes
- Taxidermy Property
- Property Subject to a Debt
- Partial Interest in Property
- Fractional Interest in Tangible Personal Property
- Qualified Conservation Contribution
- Future Interest in Tangible Personal Property
- Patents and Other Intellectual Property
- Determining Fair Market Value
- Giving Property That Has Decreased in Value
- Giving Property That Has Increased in Value
- Ordinary Income Property
- Capital Gain Property
- Capital assets.
- Real property.
- Depreciable property.
- Amount of deductionGeneral rule.
- Contributions to private nonoperating foundations.
- Tangible personal property put to unrelated use.
- Unrelated use.
- Deduction limited.
- Recapture if no exempt use.
- Ordinary or capital gain income included in gross income.
- Food Inventory
- Bargain Sales
- Contributions Subject to Special Rules
- When To Deduct
- Limits on Deductions
- Out-of-pocket expenses.
- 50% Limit
- 30% Limit
- Special 30% Limit for Capital Gain Property
- 20% Limit
- Special 50% Limit for Qualified Conservation Contributions
- How To Figure Your Deduction When Limits Apply
- Records To Keep
- Cash Contributions
- Noncash Contributions
- Out-of-Pocket Expenses
- How To Report
- Cash contributions and out-of-pocket expenses.
- Reporting expenses for student living with you.
- Noncash contributions.
- Total deduction over $500.
- Deduction over $5,000 for one item.
- Vehicle donations.
- Clothing and household items not in good used condition.
- Easement on building in historic district.
- Deduction over $500,000.
- Form 8282.
- How To Get Tax Help
- Preparing and filing your tax return.
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- Making a tax payment.
- What if I cant pay now?
- Checking the status of an amended return.
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- The Taxpayer Advocate Service Is Here To Help You
- Low Income Taxpayer Clinics
- Publication 526 - Additional Material
For the latest information about developments related to Pub. 526 (such as legislation enacted after we release it), go to IRS.gov/Pub526.
Temporary suspension of limits. Certain cash contributions you made for relief efforts in Hurricane Harvey or Tropical Storm Harvey, Hurricane Irma, Hurricane Maria, or California wildfires are not subject to the 50% limit or the overall limit on itemized deductions. See Temporary Suspension of 50% Limit for Disaster Area Contributions or Pub. 976, Disaster Relief for more information.
$156,900 if married filing separately,
$261,500 if single,
$287,650 if head of household, or
$313,800 if married filing jointly or qualifying widow(er).
For more information and a worksheet, see the Instructions for Schedule A (Form 1040).
Disaster relief. You can deduct contributions for flood relief, hurricane relief, or other disaster relief to a qualified organization (defined under Organizations That Qualify To Receive Deductible Contributions ). However, you can't deduct contributions earmarked for relief of a particular individual or family.Pub. 3833, Disaster Relief, Providing Assistance Through Charitable Organizations, has more information about disaster relief, including how to establish a new charitable organization. You can also find more information on IRS.gov. Enter "disaster relief" in the search box.
Photographs of missing children. The IRS is a proud partner with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC). Photographs of missing children selected by the Center may appear in this publication on pages that would otherwise be blank. You can help bring these children home by looking at the photographs and calling 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) or visiting www.missingkids.com if you recognize a child.
This publication explains how to claim a deduction for your charitable contributions. It discusses the types of organizations to which you can make deductible charitable contributions and the types of contributions you can deduct. It also discusses how much you can deduct, what records you must keep, and how to report 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.
561 Determining the Value of Donated Property
976 Disaster Relief
Forms (and Instructions)
Schedule A (Form 1040) Itemized Deductions
8283 Noncash Charitable Contributions
See How To Get Tax Help near the end of this publication for information about getting these publications and forms.
You can deduct your contributions only if you make them to a qualified organization. Most organizations, other than churches and governments, must apply to the IRS to become a qualified organization.
Generally, only the 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, however, be organized and operated only for charitable, religious, scientific, literary, or educational purposes, or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals. Certain organizations that foster national or international amateur sports competition also qualify.
War veterans' organizations, including posts, auxiliaries, trusts, or foundations, organized in the United States or any of its possessions (including Puerto Rico).
Domestic fraternal societies, orders, and associations operating under the lodge system. (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. (Your contribution to this type of organization isn't 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. (Your contribution to this type of organization is deductible only if it is to be used solely for public purposes.)
Example 1. You contribute cash to your city's police department to be used as a reward for information about a crime. The city police department is a qualified organization, and your contribution is for a public purpose. You can deduct your contribution.
Example 2. You make a voluntary contribution to the social security trust fund, not earmarked for a specific account. Because the trust fund is part of the U.S. government, you contributed to a qualified organization. You can deduct your contribution.
Generally, you can deduct contributions of money or property you make to, or for the use of, a qualified organization. A contribution is "for the use of" a qualified organization when it is held in a legally enforceable trust for the qualified organization or in a similar legal arrangement.
The contributions must be made to a qualified organization and not set aside for use by a specific person.
If you give property to a qualified organization, you generally can deduct the fair market value of the property at the time of the contribution. See Contributions of Property , later.
Your deduction for charitable contributions generally can't be more than 50% of your adjusted gross income (AGI), but in some cases 20% and 30% limits may apply.
In addition, the total of your charitable contributions deduction and certain other itemized deductions may be limited. See Limits on Deductions , later.
The 50% limit is suspended for certain disaster related contributions. See Temporary Suspension of 50% Limit for Disaster Area Contributions, later.
Table 1 gives examples of contributions you can and can't deduct.
Use the following lists for a quick check of whether you can deduct a contribution. See the rest of this publication for more information and additional rules and limits that may apply.
|Not Deductible As
|Money or property you give to:||Money or property you give to:|
Expenses paid for a student living with you, sponsored by a qualified organization
Out-of-pocket expenses when you serve a qualified organization as a volunteer
Cost of raffle, bingo, or lottery tickets
Dues, fees, or bills paid to country clubs, lodges, fraternal orders, or similar groups
Value of your time or services
Value of blood given to a blood bank
If you receive a benefit as a result of making a contribution to a qualified organization, you can deduct only the amount of your contribution that is more than the value of the benefit you receive. Also see Contributions From Which You Benefit under Contributions You Can't Deduct, later.
If you pay more than fair market value to a qualified organization for goods or services, the excess may be a charitable contribution. For the excess amount to qualify, you must pay it with the intent to make a charitable contribution.
You pay $65 for a ticket to a dinner dance at a church. Your entire $65 payment goes to the church. The ticket to the dinner dance has a fair market value of $25. When you buy your ticket, you know its value is less than your payment. To figure the amount of your charitable contribution, subtract the value of the benefit you receive ($25) from your total payment ($65). You can deduct $40 as a charitable contribution to the church.
At a fundraising auction conducted by a charity, you pay $600 for a week's stay at a beach house. The amount you pay is no more than the fair rental value. You haven't made a deductible charitable contribution.
You may be able to deduct some expenses of having a student live with you. You can deduct qualifying expenses for a foreign or American student who:
Lives in your home under a written agreement between you and a qualified organization (defined later) as part of a program of the organization to provide educational opportunities for the student,
Isn't your relative (defined later) or dependent (also defined later), and
Is a full-time student in the twelfth or any lower grade at a school in the United States.
You can deduct up to $50 a month for each full calendar month the student lives with you. Any month when conditions (1) through (3) are met for 15 or more days counts as a full month.
If you volunteer for a qualified organization, the following questions and answers may apply to you. All of the rules explained in this publication also apply. See, in particular, Out-of-Pocket Expenses in Giving Services .
|I volunteer 6 hours a week in the office of a qualified organization. The receptionist is paid $10 an hour for the same work. Can I deduct $60 a week for my time?||No, you can't deduct the value of your time or services.|
The office is 30 miles from my home. Can I deduct any of my car expenses for these trips?
|Yes, you can deduct the costs of gas and oil that are directly related to
getting to and from the place where you volunteer. If you don't
want to figure your actual costs, you can deduct 14 cents for each
|I volunteer as a Red Cross nurse's aide at a hospital. Can I deduct the cost of the uniforms I must wear?||Yes, you can deduct the cost of buying and cleaning your uniforms if
the hospital is a qualified organization, the uniforms aren't suitable for
everyday use, and you must wear them when volunteering.
|I pay a babysitter to watch my children while I volunteer for a qualified organization. Can I deduct these costs?||No, you can't deduct payments for childcare expenses as a
charitable contribution, even if you would be unable to volunteer without childcare. (If you have childcare expenses so you can work for pay, see Pub. 503, Child and Dependent Care Expenses.)
Although you can't deduct the value of your services given to a qualified organization, you may be able to deduct some amounts you pay in giving services to a qualified organization. The amounts must be:
Directly connected with the services;
Expenses you had only because of the services you gave; and
Not personal, living, or family expenses.
You may be able to deduct as a charitable contribution any reasonable and necessary whaling expenses you pay during the year to carry out sanctioned whaling activities. The deduction is limited to $10,000 a year. To claim the deduction, you must be recognized by the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission as a whaling captain charged with the responsibility of maintaining and carrying out sanctioned whaling activities.
Sanctioned whaling activities are subsistence bowhead whale hunting activities conducted under the management plan of the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission.
Whaling expenses include expenses for:
Acquiring and maintaining whaling boats, weapons, and gear used in sanctioned whaling activities;
Supplying food for the crew and other provisions for carrying out these activities; and
Storing and distributing the catch from these activities.
You must keep records showing the time, place, date, amount, and nature of the expenses. For details, see Revenue Procedure 2006-50, 2006-47 I.R.B. 944, available at www.IRS.gov/irb/2006-47_IRB/ar12.html.
There are some contributions you can't deduct and others you can deduct only in part.
You can't deduct as a charitable contribution:
A contribution to a specific individual,
A contribution to a nonqualified organization,
The part of a contribution from which you receive or expect to receive a benefit,
The value of your time or services,
Your personal expenses,
A qualified charitable distribution from an individual retirement arrangement (IRA),
Certain contributions to donor-advised funds, or
Certain contributions of partial interests in property.
Detailed discussions of these items follow.
You can't deduct contributions to specific individuals, including the following.
Contributions to fraternal societies made for the purpose of paying medical or burial expenses of members.
Contributions to individuals who are needy or worthy. You can't deduct these contributions even if you make them to a qualified organization for the benefit of a specific person. But you can deduct a contribution to a qualified organization that helps needy or worthy individuals if you don't indicate that your contribution is for a specific person.
Example. You can deduct contributions to a qualified organization for flood relief, hurricane relief, or other disaster relief. However, you cannot deduct contributions earmarked for relief of a particular individual or family.
Payments to a member of the clergy that can be spent as he or she wishes, such as for personal expenses.
Expenses you paid for another person who provided services to a qualified organization.
Example. Your son does missionary work. You pay his expenses. You can't claim a deduction for your son's unreimbursed expenses related to his contribution of services.
Payments to a hospital that are for a specific patient's care or for services for a specific patient. You can't deduct these payments even if the hospital is operated by a city, state, or other qualified organization.
You can't deduct contributions to organizations that aren't qualified to receive tax-deductible contributions, including the following.
Certain state bar associations if:
The bar isn't a political subdivision of a state;
The bar has private, as well as public, purposes, such as promoting the professional interests of members; and
Your contribution is unrestricted and can be used for private purposes.
Chambers of commerce and other business leagues or organizations.
Civic leagues and associations.
Country clubs and other social clubs.
Foreign organizations other than certain Canadian, Israeli, or Mexican charitable organizations. (See Canadian charities , Mexican charities , and Israeli charities under Organizations That Qualify To Receive Deductible Contributions, earlier.) Also, you can't deduct a contribution you made to any qualifying organization if the contribution is earmarked to go to a foreign organization. However, certain contributions to a qualified organization for use in a program conducted by a foreign charity may be deductible as long as they aren't earmarked to go to the foreign charity. For the contribution to be deductible, the qualified organization must approve the program as furthering its own exempt purposes and must keep control over the use of the contributed funds. The contribution is also deductible if the foreign charity is only an administrative arm of the qualified organization.
Labor unions. But you may be able to deduct union dues as a miscellaneous itemized deduction, subject to the 2%-of-adjusted-gross-income limit, on Schedule A (Form 1040). See Pub. 529, Miscellaneous Deductions.
Political organizations and candidates.
If you receive or expect to receive a financial or economic benefit as a result of making a contribution to a qualified organization, you can't deduct the part of the contribution that represents the value of the benefit you receive. See Contributions From Which You Benefit under Contributions You Can Deduct, earlier. These contributions include the following.
Contributions to a retirement home for room, board, maintenance, or admittance. Also, if the amount of your contribution depends on the type or size of apartment you will occupy, it isn't a charitable contribution.
Costs of raffles, bingo, lottery, etc. You can't deduct as a charitable contribution amounts you pay to buy raffle or lottery tickets or to play bingo or other games of chance. For information on how to report gambling winnings and losses, see Deductions Not Subject to the 2% Limit in Pub. 529.
Dues to fraternal orders and similar groups. However, see Membership fees or dues under Contributions From Which You Benefit, earlier.
Tuition, or amounts you pay instead of tuition. You can't deduct as a charitable contribution amounts you pay as tuition even if you pay them for children to attend parochial schools or qualifying nonprofit daycare centers. You also can't deduct any fixed amount you must pay in addition to, or instead of, tuition to enroll in a private school, even if it is designated as a "donation."
Contributions connected with split-dollar insurance arrangements. You can't deduct any part of a contribution to a charitable organization if, in connection with the contribution, the organization directly or indirectly pays, has paid, or is expected to pay any premium on any life insurance, annuity, or endowment contract for which you, any member of your family, or any other person chosen by you (other than a qualified charitable organization) is a beneficiary.
Example. You donate money to a charitable organization. The charity uses the money to purchase a cash value life insurance policy. The beneficiaries under the insurance policy include members of your family. Even though the charity may eventually get some benefit out of the insurance policy, you can't deduct any part of the donation.
A qualified charitable distribution (QCD) is a distribution made directly by the trustee of your individual retirement arrangement (IRA), other than a SEP or SIMPLE IRA, to certain qualified organizations. You must have been at least age 70½ when the distribution was made. Your total QCDs for the year can't be more than $100,000. If all the requirements are met, a QCD is nontaxable, but you can't claim a charitable contribution deduction for a QCD. See Pub. 590-B, Distributions from Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs), for more information about QCDs.
You can't deduct the value of your time or services, including:
You can't deduct personal, living, or family expenses, such as the following items.
Adoption expenses, including fees paid to an adoption agency and the costs of keeping a child in your home before adoption is final. However, you may be able to claim a tax credit for these expenses. Also, you may be able to exclude from your gross income amounts paid or reimbursed by your employer for your adoption expenses. See Form 8839, Qualified Adoption Expenses, and its instructions, for more information. You also may be able to claim an exemption for the child. See Exemptions for Dependents in Pub. 501 for more information.
You can't deduct as a charitable contribution any fees you pay to find the fair market value of donated property. But you can claim them, subject to the 2%-of-adjusted-gross-income limit, as a miscellaneous itemized deduction on Schedule A (Form 1040). See Deductions Subject to the 2% Limit in Pub. 529 for more information.
You can't deduct a contribution to a donor-advised fund if:
The qualified organization that sponsors the fund is a war veterans' organization, a fraternal society, or a nonprofit cemetery company; or
You don't have an acknowledgment from that sponsoring organization that it has exclusive legal control over the assets contributed.
There are also other circumstances in which you can't deduct your contribution to a donor-advised fund.
Generally, a donor-advised fund is a fund or account in which a donor can, because of being a donor, advise the fund how to distribute or invest amounts held in the fund. For details, see Internal Revenue Code section 170(f)(18).
Generally, you can't deduct a contribution of less than your entire interest in property. For details, see Partial Interest in Property under Contributions of Property, later.
If you contribute property to a qualified organization, the amount of your charitable contribution is generally the fair market value of the property at the time of the contribution. However, if the property has increased in value, you may have to make some adjustments to the amount of your deduction. See Giving Property That Has Increased in Value , later.
Special rules apply if you contribute:
Clothing or household items,
A car, boat, or airplane,
Property subject to a debt,
A partial interest in property,
A fractional interest in tangible personal property,
A qualified conservation contribution,
A future interest in tangible personal property,
Inventory from your business, or
A patent or other intellectual property.
These special rules are described next.
You can't take a deduction for clothing or household items you donate unless the clothing or household items are in good used condition or better.
A qualified vehicle is:
A car or any motor vehicle manufactured mainly for use on public streets, roads, and highways,
A boat, or
Anita donates a used car to a qualified organization. She bought it 3 years ago for $9,000. A used car guide shows the fair market value for this type of car is $6,000. However, Anita gets a Form 1098-C from the organization showing the car was sold for $2,900. Neither exception 1 nor exception 2 applies. If Anita itemizes her deductions, she can deduct $2,900 for her donation. She must attach Form 1098-C and Form 8283 to her return.
If you donate taxidermy property to a qualified organization, your deduction is limited to your basis in the property or its fair market value, whichever is less. This applies if you prepared, stuffed, or mounted the property or paid or incurred the cost of preparing, stuffing, or mounting the property.
Your basis for this purpose includes only the cost of preparing, stuffing, and mounting the property. Your basis doesn't include transportation or travel costs. It also doesn't include the direct or indirect costs for hunting or killing an animal, such as equipment costs. In addition, it doesn't include the value of your time.
Taxidermy property means any work of art that:
Is the reproduction or preservation of an animal, in whole or in part,
Is prepared, stuffed, or mounted to recreate one or more characteristics of the animal, and
Contains a part of the body of the dead animal.
If you contribute property subject to a debt (such as a mortgage), you must reduce the fair market value of the property by:
Any allowable deduction for interest you paid (or will pay) that is attributable to any period after the contribution, and
If the property is a bond, the lesser of:
Any allowable deduction for interest you paid (or will pay) to buy or carry the bond that is attributable to any period before the contribution, or
The interest, including bond discount, receivable on the bond that is attributable to any period before the contribution, and that isn't includible in your income due to your accounting method.
This prevents you from deducting the same amount as both investment interest and a charitable contribution.
If the recipient (or another person) assumes the debt, you must also reduce the fair market value of the property by the amount of the outstanding debt assumed.
The amount of the debt is also treated as an amount realized on the sale or exchange of property for purposes of figuring your taxable gain (if any). For more information, see Bargain Sales under Giving Property That Has Increased in Value, later.
Generally, you can't deduct a charitable contribution of less than your entire interest in property.
You own a 10-story office building and donate rent-free use of the top floor to a charitable organization. Because you still own the building, you have contributed a partial interest in the property and can't take a deduction for the contribution.
Mandy White owns a vacation home at the beach that she sometimes rents to others. For a fundraising auction at her church, she donated the right to use the vacation home for 1 week. At the auction, the church received and accepted a bid from Lauren Green equal to the fair rental value of the home for 1 week. Mandy can't claim a deduction because of the partial interest rule. Lauren can't claim a deduction either, because she received a benefit equal to the amount of her payment. See Contributions From Which You Benefit , earlier.
For information about how to figure the value of a contribution of a partial interest in property, see Partial Interest in Property Not in Trust in Pub. 561.
You can't deduct a charitable contribution of a fractional interest in tangible personal property unless all interests in the property are held immediately before the contribution by:
You and the qualifying organization receiving the contribution.
If you make an additional contribution later, the fair market value of that contribution will be determined by using the smaller of:
The fair market value of the property at the time of the initial contribution, or
The fair market value of the property at the time of the additional contribution.
Tangible personal property is defined later under Future Interest in Tangible Personal Property . A fractional interest in property is an undivided portion of your entire interest in the property.
An undivided one-quarter interest in a painting that entitles an art museum to possession of the painting for 3 months of each year is a fractional interest in the property.
A qualified conservation contribution is a contribution of a qualified real property interest to a qualified organization to be used only for conservation purposes.
You can't deduct the value of a charitable contribution of a future interest in tangible personal property until all intervening interests in and rights to the actual possession or enjoyment of the property have either expired or been turned over to someone other than yourself, a related person, or a related organization. But see Fractional Interest in Tangible Personal Property , earlier, and Tangible personal property put to unrelated use , later.
Related persons include your spouse, children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, and parents. Related organizations may include a partnership or corporation in which you have an interest, or an estate or trust with which you have a connection.
If you contribute inventory (property you sell in the course of your business), the amount you can deduct is the smaller of its fair market value on the day you contributed it or its basis. The basis of contributed inventory is any cost incurred for the inventory in an earlier year that you would otherwise include in your opening inventory for the year of the contribution. You must remove the amount of your charitable contribution deduction from your opening inventory. It isn't part of the cost of goods sold.
If the cost of donated inventory isn't included in your opening inventory, the inventory's basis is zero and you can't claim a charitable contribution deduction. Treat the inventory's cost as you would ordinarily treat it under your method of accounting. For example, include the purchase price of inventory bought and donated in the same year in the cost of goods sold for that year.
A special rule applies to certain donations of food inventory. See Food Inventory , later.
If you donate intellectual property to a qualified organization, your deduction is limited to the basis of the property or the fair market value of the property, whichever is smaller. Intellectual property means any of the following:
Copyrights (other than a copyright described in Internal Revenue Code sections 1221(a)(3) or 1231(b)(1)(C)).
Software (other than software described in Internal Revenue Code section 197(e)(3)(A)(i)).
Other similar property or applications or registrations of such property.
The additional deductions can't be taken for intellectual property donated to certain private foundations.
|Tax year||Deductible percentage|
This section discusses general guidelines for determining the fair market value of various types of donated property. Pub. 561 contains a more complete discussion.
Fair market value is the price at which property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither having to buy or sell, and both having reasonable knowledge of all the relevant facts.
If you contribute property with a fair market value that is less than your basis in it, your deduction is limited to its fair market value. You can't claim a deduction for the difference between the property's basis and its fair market value.
Your basis in property is generally what you paid for it. If you need more information about basis, see Pub. 551. You may want to see Pub. 551 if you contribute property that you:
Received as a gift or inheritance,
Used in a trade, business, or activity conducted for profit, or
Claimed a casualty loss deduction for.
Common examples of property that decrease in value include clothing, furniture, appliances, and cars.
If you contribute property with a fair market value that is more than your basis in it, you may have to reduce the fair market value by the amount of appreciation (increase in value) when you figure your deduction.
Your basis in property is generally what you paid for it. If you need more information about basis, see Pub. 551.
Different rules apply to figuring your deduction, depending on whether the property is:
Ordinary income property, or
Capital gain property.
Property is ordinary income property if you would have recognized ordinary income or short-term capital gain had you sold it at fair market value on the date it was contributed. Examples of ordinary income property are inventory, works of art created by the donor, manuscripts prepared by the donor, and capital assets (defined later, under Capital Gain Property ) held 1 year or less.
Property is capital gain property if you would have recognized long-term capital gain had you sold it at fair market value on the date of the contribution. Capital gain property includes capital assets held more than 1 year.
For more information about what is a capital asset, see chapter 2 of Pub. 544.
Special rules apply to certain donations of food inventory to a qualified organization. These rules apply if all the following conditions are met.
You made a contribution of apparently wholesome food from your trade or business. Apparently wholesome food is food intended for human consumption that meets all quality and labeling standards imposed by federal, state, and local laws and regulations even though the food may not be readily marketable due to appearance, age, freshness, grade, size, surplus, or other conditions.
The food is to be used only for the care of the ill, the needy, or infants.
The use of the food is related to the organization's exempt purpose or function.
The organization doesn't transfer the food for money, other property, or services.
You receive a written statement from the organization stating it will comply with requirements (2), (3), and (4).
The organization isn't a private nonoperating foundation.
The food satisfies any applicable requirements of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and regulations on the date of transfer and for the previous 180 days.
If all the conditions just described are met, use the following worksheet to figure your deduction.
|Donations of Food Inventory|
|See separate Worksheet instructions .|
|(Keep for your records)|
|1.||Enter fair market value of the
|2.||Enter basis of the donated
|3.||Subtract line 2 from line 1.
If the result is zero or less, stop here. Don't complete the rest of this worksheet. Your charitable contribution deduction for food is the amount on line 1
|4.||Enter one-half of line 3|
|5.||Subtract line 4 from line 1|
|6.||Multiply line 2 by 2.0|
|7.||Subtract line 6 from line 5. If the result is less than zero, enter -0-|
|8.||Add lines 4 and 7|
|9.||Compare line 3 and line 8. Enter the smaller amount|
|10.||Subtract line 9 from line 1|
|11.||Enter 10% of your total net
income for the year from
all trades or businesses
from which food
inventory was donated
|12.||Compare line 10 and line 11.
Enter the smaller amount.
This is your charitable
for the food
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 under How To Figure Your Deduction When Limits Apply , later). This applies whether you use the cash or an accrual method of accounting.
For 2017, the total of your charitable contributions deduction and certain other itemized deductions may be limited if your adjusted gross income is more than:
$156,900 if married filing separately,
$261,500 if single,
$287,650 if head of household, or
$313,800 if married filing jointly or qualifying widow(er).
This is in addition to the other limits described here. See the Instructions for Schedule A (Form 1040) for more information about this limit.
If your total contributions for the year are 20% or less of your adjusted gross income, you don't need to read the rest of this section. The remaining limits discussed in this section don't apply to you.
The amount you can deduct for charitable contributions generally is limited to 50% of your adjusted gross income. Your deduction may be further limited to 30% or 20% of your adjusted gross income, depending on the type of property you give and the type of organization you give it to. A higher limit applies to certain qualified conservation contributions. These limits are described in detail in this section.
Your adjusted gross income is the amount on Form 1040, line 38.
If your contributions are more than any of the limits that apply, see Carryovers under How To Figure Your Deduction When Limits Apply, later.
The 50% limit is suspended for certain disaster related contributions. See Temporary Suspension of 50% Limit for Disaster Area Contributions, later.
The 50% limit applies to the total of all charitable contributions you make during the year. This means that your deduction for charitable contributions can't be more than 50% of your adjusted gross income for the year. But there is a higher limit, discussed later, for certain qualified conservation contributions.
You can ask any organization whether it is a 50% limit organization, and most will be able to tell you. Also see How to check whether an organization can receive deductible charitable contributions , earlier.
Only the following types of organizations are 50% limit organizations.
Churches and conventions or associations of churches.
Educational organizations with a regular faculty and curriculum that normally have a regularly enrolled student body attending classes on site.
Hospitals and certain medical research organizations associated with these hospitals.
Organizations that are operated only to receive, hold, invest, and administer property and to make expenditures to or for the benefit of state and municipal colleges and universities and that normally receive substantial support from the United States or any state or their political subdivisions, or from the general public.
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.
Publicly supported charities, defined earlier under Qualified Conservation Contribution .
Organizations that may not qualify as "publicly supported" but that meet other tests showing they respond to the needs of the general public, not a limited number of donors or other persons. They must normally receive more than one-third of their support either from organizations described in (1) through (6), or from persons other than "disqualified persons."
Most organizations operated or controlled by, and operated for the benefit of, those organizations described in (1) through (7).
Private nonoperating foundations that make qualifying distributions of 100% of contributions within 2½ months following the year they receive the contribution. A deduction for charitable contributions to any of these private nonoperating foundations must be supported by evidence from the foundation confirming it made the qualifying distributions timely. Attach a copy of this supporting data to your tax return.
A private foundation whose contributions are pooled into a common fund, if the foundation would be described in (8) but for the right of substantial contributors to name the public charities that receive contributions from the fund. The foundation must distribute the common fund's income within 2½ months following the tax year in which it was realized and must distribute the corpus not later than 1 year after the donor's death (or after the death of the donor's surviving spouse if the spouse can name the recipients of the corpus).
Generally, the amount you can deduct for charitable contributions can’t be more than 50% of your adjusted gross income (AGI). However, qualified contributions aren’t subject to the overall limit on itemized deductions or the 50% AGI limit. A qualified contribution must meet the following criteria.
It is a charitable contribution paid in cash or check after August 22, 2017, and before January 1, 2018.
It is paid to a 50% limit organization (other than certain private foundations described in section 509(a)(3)).
It is payable for relief efforts in the Hurricane Harvey disaster area, the Hurricane Irma disaster area, the Hurricane Maria disaster area, or the California wildfire disaster area.
The taxpayer obtains contemporaneous written acknowledgment (within the meaning of section 170(f)(8)) from the organization that such contribution was used for relief efforts.
The taxpayer elected to have this section apply to such contribution.
A 30% limit applies to the following contributions.
Contributions to all qualified organizations other than 50% limit organizations. This includes contributions to veterans' organizations, fraternal societies, nonprofit cemeteries, and certain private nonoperating foundations.
Contributions for the use of any qualified organization.
However, if these contributions are of capital gain property, they are subject to the 20% limit, described later, rather than the 30% limit.
A special 30% limit applies to contributions of capital gain property to 50% limit organizations. (For contributions of capital gain property to other organizations, see 20% Limit , later.) However, the special 30% limit doesn't apply when you choose to reduce the fair market value of the property by the amount that would have been long-term capital gain if you had sold the property. Instead, only the 50% limit applies. See Capital Gain Property , earlier, and Capital gain property election under How To Figure Your Deduction When Limits Apply, later.
Also, the special 30% limit doesn't apply to qualified conservation contributions, discussed later.
Your adjusted gross income is $50,000. During the year, you gave capital gain property with a fair market value of $15,000 to a 50% limit organization. You don't choose to reduce the property's fair market value by its appreciation in value. You also gave $10,000 cash to a qualified organization that isn't a 50% limit organization. The $15,000 contribution of property is subject to the special 30% limit. The $10,000 cash contribution is subject to the other 30% limit. Both contributions are fully deductible because neither is more than the 30% limit that applies ($15,000 in each case) and together they aren't more than the 50% limit ($25,000).
The 20% limit applies to all contributions of capital gain property to or for the use of qualified organizations (other than contributions of capital gain property to 50% limit organizations).
Your deduction for qualified conservation contributions (QCCs) is limited to 50% of your adjusted gross income minus your deduction for all other charitable contributions. You can carry over any contributions you aren't able to deduct for 2017 because of this limit. See Carryovers , later.
If your contributions are subject to more than one of the limits just discussed, deduct them as follows.
Contributions subject only to the 50% limit, up to 50% of your adjusted gross income.
Contributions subject to the 30% limit, up to the lesser of:
30% of adjusted gross income, or
50% of adjusted gross income minus your contributions to 50% limit organizations, including contributions of capital gain property subject to the special 30% limit.
Contributions of capital gain property subject to the special 30% limit, up to the lesser of:
30% of adjusted gross income, or
50% of adjusted gross income minus your other contributions to 50% limit organizations.
Contributions subject to the 20% limit, up to the lesser of:
20% of adjusted gross income,
30% of adjusted gross income minus your contributions subject to the 30% limit,
30% of adjusted gross income minus your contributions of capital gain property subject to the special 30% limit, or
50% of adjusted gross income minus the total of your contributions to 50% limit organizations and your contributions subject to the 30% limit.
Qualified conservation contributions (QCCs) subject to the special 50% limit, up to 50% of adjusted gross income minus any contributions in (1) through (4).
QCCs subject to the 100% limit for farmers and ranchers, up to 100% of adjusted gross income minus any contributions in (1) through (5).
Qualified contributions (as defined under Temporary Suspension of 50% Limit for Disaster Area Contributions , earlier) up to 100% of your adjusted gross income minus all your other contributions.
You also may want to use Worksheet 2 to figure your deduction and your carryover.
Your adjusted gross income is $50,000. In March, you gave your church $2,000 cash and land with a fair market value of $28,000 and a basis of $22,000. You held the land for investment purposes for more than 1 year. You don't make the capital gain property election for this year. See Capital gain property election , later. Therefore, the amount of your charitable contribution for the land would be its fair market value of $28,000. You also gave $5,000 cash to a private foundation to which the 30% limit applies.
The $2,000 cash donated to the church is considered first and is fully deductible. Your contribution to the private foundation is considered next. Because your contributions to 50% limit organizations ($2,000 + $28,000) are more than $25,000 (50% of $50,000), your contribution to the private foundation isn't deductible for the year. It can be carried over to later years. See Carryovers , later. The contribution of land is considered next. Your deduction for the land is limited to $15,000 (30% × $50,000). The unused part of the contribution ($13,000) can be carried over. For this year, your deduction is limited to $17,000 ($2,000 + $15,000).
You can use Worksheet 2 if you made charitable contributions during the year, and one or more of the limits described in this publication under Limits on Deductions apply to you. You can't use this worksheet if you have a carryover of a charitable contribution from an earlier year. If you have a carryover from an earlier year, see Carryovers next.
The following list gives instructions for completing the worksheet.
The terms used in the worksheet are explained earlier in this publication.
If the result on any line is less than zero, enter zero.
For contributions of property, enter the property's fair market value unless you elected (or were required) to reduce the fair market value as explained under Giving Property That Has Increased in Value . In that case, enter the reduced amount.
You can carry over any contributions you can't deduct in the current year because they exceed your adjusted-gross-income limits. Except for qualified conservation contributions, you may be able to deduct the excess in each of the next 5 years until it is used up, but not beyond that time. Your total charitable deduction for the year to which you carry your contributions generally is limited to 50% of your adjusted gross income for that year.
A carryover of a qualified conservation contribution can be carried forward for 15 years.
Contributions you carry over are subject to the same percentage limits in the year to which they are carried. For example, contributions subject to the 20% limit in the year in which they are made are 20% limit contributions in the year to which they are carried. But see Carryover of capital gain property , later.
For each category of contributions, you deduct carryover contributions only after deducting all allowable contributions in that category for the current year. If you have carryovers from 2 or more prior years, use the carryover from the earlier year first.
A carryover of a contribution to a 50% limit organization must be used before contributions in the current year to organizations other than 50% limit organizations. See Example 2 .
Last year, you made cash contributions of $11,000 to which the 50% limit applies, but because of the limit you deducted only $10,000 and carried over $1,000 to this year. This year, your adjusted gross income is $20,000 and you made cash contributions of $9,500 to which the 50% limit applies. You can deduct $10,000 (50% of $20,000) this year. Consequently, in addition to your contribution of $9,500 for this year, you can deduct $500 of your carryover contribution from last year. You can carry over the $500 balance of your carryover from last year to next year.
This year, your adjusted gross income is $24,000. You make cash contributions of $6,000 to which the 50% limit applies and $3,000 to which the 30% limit applies. You have a contribution carryover from last year of $5,000 for capital gain property contributed to a 50% limit organization and subject to the special 30% limit for contributions of capital gain property.
Your contribution deduction for this year is limited to $12,000 (50% of $24,000). Your 50% limit cash contributions of $6,000 are fully deductible.
The deduction for your 30% limit contributions of $3,000 is limited to $1,000. This is the lesser of:
$7,200 (30% of $24,000), or
$1,000 ($12,000 minus $11,000).
(The $12,000 amount is 50% of $24,000, your adjusted gross income. The $11,000 amount is the sum of your current and carryover contributions to 50% limit organizations, $6,000 + $5,000.)
The deduction for your $5,000 carryover is subject to the special 30% limit for contributions of capital gain property. This means it is limited to the smaller of:
$7,200 (your 30% limit), or
$6,000 ($12,000, your 50% limit, minus $6,000, the amount of your cash contributions to 50% limit organizations this year).
Because your $5,000 carryover is less than both $7,200 and $6,000, you can deduct it in full.
Your deduction is $12,000 ($6,000 + $1,000 + $5,000). You carry over the $2,000 balance of your 30% limit contributions for this year to next year.
You must keep records to prove the amount of the contributions you make during the year. The kind of records you must keep depends on the amount of your contributions and whether they are:
Noncash contributions, or
Out-of-pocket expenses when donating your services.
An organization generally must give you a written statement if it receives a payment from you that is more than $75 and is partly a contribution and partly for goods or services. (See Contributions From Which You Benefit under Contributions You Can Deduct, earlier.) Keep the statement for your records. It may satisfy all or part of the recordkeeping requirements explained in the following discussions.
Cash contributions include those paid by cash, check, electronic funds transfer, debit card, credit card, or payroll deduction.
You can't deduct a cash contribution, regardless of the amount, unless you keep one of the following.
A bank record that shows the name of the qualified organization, the date of the contribution, and the amount of the contribution. Bank records may include:
A canceled check,
A bank or credit union statement, or
A credit card statement.
A receipt (or a letter or other written communication) from the qualified organization showing the name of the organization, the date of the contribution, and the amount of the contribution.
The payroll deduction records described next.
You can claim a deduction for a contribution of $250 or more only if you have an acknowledgment of your contribution from the qualified organization or certain payroll deduction records.
If you made more than one contribution of $250 or more, you must have either a separate acknowledgment for each or one acknowledgment that lists each contribution and the date of each contribution and shows your total contributions.
For a contribution not made in cash, the records you must keep depend on whether your deduction for the contribution is:
Less than $250,
At least $250 but not more than $500,
Over $500 but not more than $5,000, or
If you make any noncash contribution, you must get and keep a receipt from the charitable organization showing:
The name of the charitable organization,
The date and location of the charitable contribution, and
A reasonably detailed description of the property.
A letter or other written communication from the charitable organization acknowledging receipt of the contribution and containing the information in (1), (2), and (3) will serve as a receipt.
You aren't required to have a receipt where it is impractical to get one (for example, if you leave property at a charity's unattended drop site).
If you claim a deduction of at least $250 but not more than $500 for a noncash charitable contribution, you must get and keep an acknowledgment of your contribution from the qualified organization. If you made more than one contribution of $250 or more, you must have either a separate acknowledgment for each or one acknowledgment that shows your total contributions.
The acknowledgment must contain the information in items (1) through (3) under Deductions of Less Than $250 , earlier, and your written records must include the information listed in that discussion under Additional records .
The acknowledgment must also meet these tests.
It must be written.
It must include:
A description (but not necessarily the value) of any property you contributed,
Whether the qualified organization gave you any goods or services as a result of your contribution (other than certain token items and membership benefits), and
A description and good faith estimate of the value of any goods or services described in (b). If the only benefit you received was an intangible religious benefit (such as admission to a religious ceremony) that generally isn't sold in a commercial transaction outside the donative context, the acknowledgment must say so and doesn't need to describe or estimate the value of the benefit.
You must get it on or before the earlier of:
The date you file your return for the year you make the contribution, or
The due date, including extensions, for filing the return.
If you claim a deduction over $500 but not over $5,000 for a noncash charitable contribution, you must have the acknowledgment and written records described under Deductions of at Least $250 but Not More Than $500 . Your records must also include:
How you got the property, for example, by purchase, gift, bequest, inheritance, or exchange,
The approximate date you got the property or, if created, produced, or manufactured by or for you, the approximate date the property was substantially completed, and
The cost or other basis, and any adjustments to the basis, of property held less than 12 months and, if available, the cost or other basis of property held 12 months or more. This requirement, however, doesn't apply to publicly traded securities.
If you have reasonable cause for being unable to provide information about the date you got the property or the cost basis of the property, attach a statement of explanation to your return.
If you claim a deduction of over $5,000 for a noncash charitable contribution of one item or a group of similar items, you must have the acknowledgment and the written records described under Deductions Over $500 but Not Over $5,000 . Generally, you must also obtain a qualified written appraisal of the donated property from a qualified appraiser. See Deductions of More Than $5,000 in Pub. 561 for more information.
In figuring whether your deduction is over $5,000, combine your claimed deductions for all similar items donated to any charitable organization during the year.
If the contribution was a qualified conservation contribution, your records must also include the fair market value of the underlying property before and after the contribution and the conservation purpose furthered by the contribution.
For more information, see Qualified Conservation Contribution , earlier, and in Pub. 561.
If you give services to a qualified organization and have unreimbursed out-of-pocket expenses related to those services, the following two rules apply.
You must have adequate records to prove the amount of the expenses.
If any of your unreimbursed out-of-pocket expenses, considered separately, are $250 or more (for example, you pay $250 for an airline ticket to attend a convention of a qualified organization as a chosen representative), you must get an acknowledgment from the qualified organization that contains:
A description of the services you provided,
A statement of whether or not the organization provided you any goods or services to reimburse you for the expenses you incurred,
A description and a good faith estimate of the value of any goods or services (other than intangible religious benefits) provided to reimburse you, and
A statement that the only benefit you received was an intangible religious benefit, if that was the case. The acknowledgment doesn't need to describe or estimate the value of an intangible religious benefit (defined earlier under Acknowledgment ).
You must get the acknowledgment on or before the earlier of:
The date you file your return for the year you make the contribution, or
The due date, including extensions, for filing the return.
Report your charitable contributions on lines 16 through 19 of Schedule A (Form 1040).
If you made noncash contributions, you may also be required to fill out parts of Form 8283. See Noncash contributions , later.
If you have questions about a tax issue, need help preparing your tax return, or want to download free publications, forms, or instructions, go to IRS.gov and find resources that can help you right away.
Getting answers to your tax questions. On IRS.gov get answers to your tax questions anytime, anywhere.
Go to IRS.gov/ITA for the Interactive Tax Assistant, a tool that will ask you questions on a number of tax law topics and provide answers. You can print the entire interview and the final response for your records.
Go to IRS.gov/Pub17 to get Pub. 17, Your Federal Income Tax for Individuals, which features details on tax-saving opportunities, 2017 tax changes, and thousands of interactive links to help you find answers to your questions. View it online in HTML, as a PDF, or download it to your mobile device as an eBook.
You may also be able to access tax law information in your electronic filing software.
The Taxpayer Advocate Service (TAS) is an independent organization within the IRS that helps taxpayers and protects taxpayer rights. Our job is to ensure that every taxpayer is treated fairly and that you know and understand your rights under the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.
We can help you resolve problems that you can’t resolve with the IRS. And our service is free. If you qualify for our assistance, you will be assigned to one advocate who will work with you throughout the process and will do everything possible to resolve your issue. TAS can help you if:
Your problem is causing financial difficulty for you, your family, or your business,
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We have offices in every state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Your local advocate’s number is in your local directory and at TaxpayerAdvocate.IRS.gov/Contact-Us. You can also call us at 1-877-777-4778.
The Taxpayer Bill of Rights describes 10 basic rights that all taxpayers have when dealing with the IRS. Our Tax Toolkit at TaxpayerAdvocate.IRS.gov can help you understand what these rights mean to you and how they apply. These are your rights. Know them. Use them.
TAS works to resolve large-scale problems that affect many taxpayers. If you know of one of these broad issues, please report it to us at IRS.gov/SAMS.
Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) are independent from the IRS. LITCs represent individuals whose income is below a certain level and need to resolve tax problems with the IRS, such as audits, appeals, and tax collection disputes. In addition, clinics can provide information about taxpayer rights and responsibilities in different languages for individuals who speak English as a second language. Services are offered for free or a small fee. To find a clinic near you, visit TaxpayerAdvocate.IRS.gov/LITCmap or see IRS Publication 4134, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List.
- Canadian charity, Canadian charities.
- Capital gain property, Capital Gain Property
- Car expenses, Car expenses., Car expenses.
- Carryovers, Carryovers
- Cars, donations of, Cars, Boats, and Airplanes
- Cash contributions, records to keep, Cash Contributions
- Charity benefit events, Charity benefit events.
- Church deacon, Church deacon.
- Fair market value of, Used clothing.
- Conservation contribution, Special 50% Limit for Qualified Conservation Contributions
- Contributions from which you benefit, Contributions From Which You Benefit, Contributions From Which You Benefit
- Contributions of property, Contributions of Property
- Contributions subject to special rules
- Car, boat, or airplane
- Clothing, Contributions Subject to Special Rules
- Fractional interest in tangible personal property, Contributions Subject to Special Rules
- Future interest in tangible personal property, Contributions Subject to Special Rules
- Household items, Contributions Subject to Special Rules
- Inventory from your business, Contributions Subject to Special Rules
- Partial interest in property, Contributions Subject to Special Rules
- Patent or other intellectual property, Contributions Subject to Special Rules
- Property subject to a debt, Contributions Subject to Special Rules
- Qualified conservation contribution, Contributions Subject to Special Rules
- Taxidermy property, Contributions Subject to Special Rules
- Contributions to nonqualified organizations
- Foreign organizations, Contributions to Nonqualified Organizations
- Contributions you can deduct, Contributions You Can Deduct
- Conventions of a qualified organization, Conventions.
- Farmer, Qualified farmer or rancher.
- Food inventory, Food Inventory
- Foreign organizations
- Foster parents, Foster parents.
- Future interests in property, Future Interest in Tangible Personal Property
- Legislation, influencing, Contributions From Which You Benefit
- Limit on itemized deductions, What's New
- Limits on deductions, Limits on Deductions
- Payroll deductions, Payroll deductions., Payroll deductions.
- Penalty, valuation overstatement, Penalty
- Personal expenses, Personal Expenses
- Private foundation, 50% Limit Organizations
- Private nonoperating foundation, Contributions to private nonoperating foundations., 50% Limit Organizations
- Private operating foundation, 50% Limit Organizations
- Bargain sales, Bargain Sales
- Basis, Giving Property That Has Decreased in Value
- Capital gain, Capital Gain Property
- Capital gain election, Capital gain property election.
- Decreased in value, Giving Property That Has Decreased in Value
- Future interests, Future Interest in Tangible Personal Property
- Increased in value, Giving Property That Has Increased in Value
- Inventory, Food Inventory
- Ordinary income, Ordinary Income Property
- Unrelated use, Tangible personal property put to unrelated use.
- Publications (see Tax help)
- Qualified charitable distributions, Qualified Charitable Distributions
- Qualified conservation contribution, Special 50% Limit for Qualified Conservation Contributions
- Qualified organizations
- Foreign qualified organizations
- Types, Organizations That Qualify To Receive Deductible Contributions
- Raffle or bingo, Contributions From Which You Benefit
- No exempt use, Recapture if no exempt use.
- Recapture of deduction of fractional interest in tangible personal property
- Additional tax, Recapture of deduction.
- Records to keep, Records To Keep
- Disaster relief, Reminders
- Reporting, How To Report
- Retirement home, Contributions From Which You Benefit
- Services, value of, Value of Time or Services
- Split-dollar insurance arrangements, Contributions From Which You Benefit
- Student, Mutual exchange program.
- Student living with you, Expenses Paid for Student Living With You, Reporting expenses for student living with you.
- Tangible personal property
- Future interest in, Future Interest in Tangible Personal Property
- Tax help, How To Get Tax Help
- Time, value of, Value of Time or Services
- Token items, Certain membership benefits can be disregarded.
- Travel expenses, Travel.
- Travel expenses for charitable services, Deductible travel expenses.
- Tuition, Contributions From Which You Benefit
- Volunteers, Out-of-Pocket Expenses in Giving Services