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Giving Donations as a Tax Break

Many of us like to give a part of what we've earned to an organization that works to make life better.  As a side benefit, these donations can help you when you file your tax return.  Here are some things worth knowing:

  • Donations can give you a tax break if you can itemize your deductions.
  • Donations can be cash or property, as long as the donation is used to benefit the general public.
  • You can give donations to houses of worship and organizations that are charitable, religious, scientific, literary, educational, or work to prevent cruelty to children or animals.
  • You can give to membership organizations that work to help the general public.
  • You can also give donations to states, cities, towns and Native American tribal governments.
  • You can also give to nonprofits in Canada, Mexico and Israel if you have income based in those countries.
  • It's important to keep any records of donations you get from the organization.
  • If you volunteer, you can deduct your driving expenses or your mileage.