Publication 526: Charitable Contributions

Publication 526 (Charitable Contributions) from the IRS explains rules for deducting donations to qualified charities on your federal income tax return.

What is Publication 526?

Publication 526, also known as Charitable Contributions, is a valuable guide from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that explains how individuals can claim deductions for their charitable donations on their federal income tax returns. It covers everything from eligible organizations and types of contributions to recordkeeping requirements and reporting procedures.

Who Should Read Publication 526?

This publication is relevant for anyone who makes charitable contributions and wants to understand how to claim them as a tax deduction. This includes individuals, self-employed individuals, and owners of pass-through entities like partnerships and S corporations.

Key Points to Remember About Publication 526:

A. Eligible organizations: Only donations made to qualified organizations are deductible. You can find a list of qualified organizations on the IRS website.

B. Types of contributions: You can deduct cash, non-cash (property), and volunteer services (limited situations).

C. Deduction limits: The standard deduction for most taxpayers makes itemizing deductions less common, but charitable contributions can still be deducted if you itemize. The maximum deduction for cash contributions is 60% of your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI). Specific limits apply to non-cash contributions and certain types of organizations.

D. Record-keeping: Keep detailed records of your contributions, including the date, amount, recipient organization, and any receipts.

E. Reporting requirements: You report your charitable contributions on Schedule A if you itemize deductions.