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  • Writer's pictureJames D. Lynch

How To Know If Your Charitable Donation Is Deductible

To be deductible, you must make charitable contributions to qualified organizations. Qualified organizations have tax-exempt status with the IRS. Qualified organizations include nonprofit (501(c)(3)) organizations operating exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific, literary, or educational purposes. Veterans’ organizations, lodge groups, and cemeteries are other examples. A donation to a federal, state, or local government may also be deductible if the donated funds are for public purposes (such as maintaining a public park).

Tax Exempt Organization Search ( allows users to search for tax-exempt charities. Taxpayers can use this tool to determine if donations they make to an organization are tax-deductible charitable contributions.

Contributions to individuals are never deductible. Therefore, a donation to help out a struggling friend or relative is unfortunately non-deductible.

You can only deduct charitable contributions if you itemize deductions. If you use the standard deduction, you will not be able to deduct charitable contributions.


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