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Charitable deductions are only deductible as itemized deductions (thus, you are not eligible if you take a standard deduction). If your income exceeds $139,500, the deduction is subject to a 3 percent reduction of total itemized deductions.

You must have a receipt if the charitable contribution exceeded $250; cancelled checks are not valid unless it is under $250. Deductions are only good for the tax year – and can be post dated up until December 31st of the tax year (even if it’s not cashed until the following year).

Contributions to political campaigns or political action committees are not deductible. Likewise, you get no deductions for contributions to professional groups, lobbying groups, donations on behalf of individuals (even needy ones), or even contributions to for-profit schools or hospitals.

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