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Category: Finding Deductions

Gifts to Charity - What is a "qualifying organization"?

For your donation or contribution to be deductible, the primary function or purpose of the organization that you donated to must be one of the following:

  • Religious
  • Charitable
  • Educational
  • Scientific
  • Literary
  • The prevention of cruelty to children or animals
  1. Certain organizations that foster national or international amateur sports competition also qualify.
  2. War veteran's organizations, including posts, auxiliaries, trusts, or foundations, organized in the U.S. or any of its possessions.
  3. Domestic fraternal societies, orders, and associations operating under the lodge system (to be deductible, the contribution must be used soley for the purposes listed above- Charitable, Literary, etc.).
  4. Certain nonprofit cemetery companies or corporations (the contribution is not deductible if it can be used for the case of a specific lot or mausoleum crypt).
  5. The United States or any state, the District of Columbia, a U.S. possession, a political subdivision of state or U.S. possession, or an Indian tribal government or any of its subdivisions that perform substantial government functions (to be deduction, your contribution must be made solely for public purposes).

If you made a contribution, but are not sure if the organization qualifies as charitable, you can either:

  • Check with the organization that you contributed to.They should be able to provide you with verification of their charitable status.
  • Call the IRS Tax Exempt/Government Entities Customer Account Services at 1-877-829-5500.They are available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST.
  • Review Charitable Contributions, Publication 526 for more information.