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Charity Donations & Contributions

Non-cash donations have been showing up on returns very frequently. 90% of American families make charitable contributions. 44% of adults volunteer their time. The average cash contribution is 3.2% of income.

You CANNOT deduct:

  • "Non-receipted" Cash Contributions of any amount (you must have a receipt for the cash donation in order to deduct it)
  • Political contributions
  • Raffle, Bingo or lottery tickets
  • The value of your time or services provided
  • Value of blood given to a blood bank
  • Donations to civic leagues, social and sports clubs, labor unions and Chambers of Commerce
  • Dues to fraternal organizations
  • Gifts to your children

Use this Charitable Donations Calculator (Excel Spreadsheet) to determine the value of your charitable donations. Non-cash contributions must be inventoried and valued at their second-hand value. You can also save this .pdf worksheet for keeping records.

Deductible Gifts must be made to a 501 ©(3) organization. This is a group organized for charitable, educational or scientific purposes. Donated items should be in good condition/like new, and without flaws, stains, etc. You can check the IRS website to see if your group qualifies: This site also has frequently asked questions about charitable donations.

Donations of cars, boats, trucks, and trailers to non-profit organizations have been greatly restricted by recent tax acts. In order for you to deduct the fair market value of the vehicle, the charity must use the vehicle for at least one year. If they use it for less than one year or sell it, you must wait until the vehicle is sold and deduct only what the charity receives for the vehicle.

A worksheet for valuing your contributions should include:

  • Description of the property donated
  • Date you acquired the property
  • Your cost
  • Date donated
  • Fair market value (what a willing seller/buyer would agree upon, thrift shop value or garage sale value)

Please email the office if you have any questions.