The information in this article is up to date through tax year 2019 (taxes filed in 2020).
Some people express political support by donating to political organizations, campaigns, and candidates. You may wonder if these contributions are tax deductible. The IRS explicitly says that contributions to political campaigns and candidates are not tax deductible.
What makes political donations different?
It’s reasonable to assume personal donations made to political organizations are a type of charitable donation, which are typically eligible for tax-deductible contributions. The word donation can be deceiving. By definition, donations are charity-related. However, organizations attempting to influence legislation and/or participate in campaign activity are referred to as action organizations and are not considered tax-exempt by the IRS.
Can businesses deduct political contributions?
Many businesses are financially involved in political activities. The same rules apply to businesses and individuals regarding political contributions. Businesses cannot claim political donations as a tax deduction.
The IRS does not waver from its stance on expenses of this nature. In fact, individual political candidates cannot deduct any campaign expenses – registration fees, advertising, or any other costs related to running for office.
Are there limits on how much I can contribute?
The Federal Election Campaign Act limits contributions to a candidate’s campaign. The Federal Election Commission lists the contribution limits for 2019-2020 federal elections. These limits apply to all contributions, except contributions from a candidate’s personal funding. If a campaign receives a donation exceeding these limits, it must follow a protocol for handling the excess funding.
Although campaign contributions are not tax deductible, TaxSlayer can help you get all the tax breaks you deserve. There are all kinds of deductions available. Read Interesting Tax Deductions to see if you can claim any of these deductions you may not know exist.