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Charitable contributions must be made to a qualified organization and not set aside for use by a specific person.

Per IRS Publication 526 Charitable Contributions:

On page 2:

Organizations That Qualify To Receive Deductible Contributions

You can deduct your contributions only if you make them to a qualified organization. 

How to check whether an organization can receive deductible charitable contributions. You can ask any organization whether it is a qualified organization, and most will be able to tell you. You also can check by going to IRS.gov/TEOS. This online tool will enable you to search for qualified organizations.

On page 7:

Contributions You Can't Deduct

There are some contributions you can't deduct and others you can deduct only in part.

You can't deduct as a charitable contribution:

  1. A contribution to a specific individual,
  2. A contribution to a nonqualified organization,
  3. The part of a contribution from which you receive or expect to receive a benefit,
  4. The value of your time or services,
  5. Your personal expenses,
  6. A qualified charitable distribution from an individual retirement arrangement (IRA),
  7. Appraisal fees,
  8. Certain contributions to donor-advised funds, or
  9. Certain contributions of partial interests in property.

Detailed discussions of these items follow.

Related Links

Note that any link in the information above is updated each year automatically and will take you to the most recent version of the document at the time it is accessed.


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