question.jpgIn Federal Income Tax

What types of contributions/donations can’t I deduct?

While money or property contributed to a qualified organization can generally be deducted, there are certain related things which you cannot deduct. Obviously, a donation to an entity which is not a qualified organization (such as a political campaign or political committee) cannot be deducted. This also includes individuals - you cannot deduct any contributions to individuals, no matter how needy they may be.

In addition, you cannot deduct the value of your time or services. Thus, if you spend the day volunteering for a charitable organization, you cannot claim an expense for your time or how much salary you missed by not working. Related to this, you cannot claim any deduction for the value of your blood or plasma if you give a donation at a blood bank. Nor can you deduct any personal expenses associated with your charitable donation (such as meal expenses or other costs you incurred while doing charity work).

Finally, if you receive any benefit (such as goods or services) from a donation, the value of that benefit must be subtracted from the amount you claim (unless you only receive a token good, such as a tote bag from a PBS donation).