While your clients may not be Warren Buffetts donating billions to charity, you can help them maximize their deductions and better the world at the same time. Generally speaking, tax-deductible charitable gifts must go to a domestic nonprofit organization, trust, community chest, fund or foundation. Here’s a list of the types of charities and deductions the IRS finds acceptable.
Religious organizations. Entities operated for religious purposes can receive payments for pew rents, assessments and dues.
Charitable organizations. Groups that exist for charitable purposes, such as the American Red Cross, the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America, the American Cancer Society, the United Way, the Salvation Army and the YMCA or YWCA.
Educational organizations. Groups organized for scientific, literary or educational purposes, including hospitals, research organizations, colleges and universities.
Government organizations. Gifts for public purposes to the Social Security System, local fire departments or civil defense groups or committees formed to raise funds for developing a public park are all allowable deductions.
Other qualified organizations. Associations established to promote education, combat crime or aid public welfare, groups dedicated to the prevention of cruelty to children or animals and corporations established to provide legal services to the needy in noncriminal proceedings.
Note: You can check an organization’s status at www.irs.gov/charities/charitable