||2001 Tax Year
Contributions You Cannot Deduct
There are some contributions that you cannot deduct. There are
others that you can deduct only part of.
You cannot deduct as a charitable contribution:
- A contribution to a specific individual,
- A contribution to a nonqualified organization,
- The part of a contribution from which you receive or expect
to receive a benefit,
- The value of your time or services,
- Your personal expenses,
- Appraisal fees, or
- Certain contributions of partial interests in
Detailed discussions of these items follow.
Contributions to Individuals
You cannot deduct contributions to specific individuals, including:
- Contributions to fraternal societies made for the purpose of
paying medical or burial expenses of deceased members.
- Contributions to individuals who are needy or worthy. This
includes contributions to a qualified organization if you indicate
that your contribution is for a specific person. But you can deduct a
contribution that you give to a qualified organization that in turn
helps needy or worthy individuals if you do not indicate that your
contribution is for a specific person.
Example. You can deduct contributions earmarked for
flood relief, hurricane relief, or other disaster relief to a
qualified organization. However, you cannot deduct contributions
earmarked for relief of a particular individual or family.
- Payments to a member of the clergy that can be spent as he
or she wishes, such as for personal expenses.
- Expenses you paid for another person who provided services
to a qualified organization.
Example. Your son does missionary work. You pay his
expenses. You cannot claim a deduction for your son's unreimbursed
expenses related to his contribution of services.
- Payments to a hospital that are for a specific patient's
care or for services for a specific patient. You cannot deduct these
payments even if the hospital is operated by a city, state, or other
You cannot deduct contributions to organizations that are not
qualified to receive tax-deductible contributions, including the
- Certain state bar associations
- The state bar is not a political subdivision of a
- The bar has private, as well as public, purposes, such as
promoting the professional interests of members, and
- Your contribution is unrestricted and can be used for
- Chambers of commerce and other business leagues
- Civic leagues and associations.
- Communist organizations.
- Country clubs and other social clubs.
- Foreign organizations
- A U.S. organization that transfers funds to a charitable
foreign organization if the U.S. organization controls the use of the
funds or if the foreign organization is only an administrative arm of
the U.S. organization, or
- Certain Canadian, Israeli, or Mexican charitable
organizations. See Canadian charities, Mexican
charities, and Israeli charities under
Organizations That Qualify To Receive Deductible Contributions,
- Homeowners' associations.
- Labor unions. But you may be able to deduct union
dues as a miscellaneous itemized deduction, subject to the
2%-of-adjusted-gross-income limit, on Schedule A (Form 1040). See
- Political organizations and candidates.
Which You Benefit
If you receive or expect to receive a financial or economic benefit
as a result of making a contribution to a qualified organization, you
cannot deduct the part of the contribution that represents the value
of the benefit you receive. See Contributions From Which You
Benefit under Contributions You Can Deduct, earlier.
These contributions include:
- Contributions for lobbying.
This includes amounts
that you earmark for use in, or in connection with, influencing
- Contributions to a retirement home
that are clearly for room,
board, maintenance, or admittance. Also, if the amount of your
contribution depends on the type or size of apartment you will occupy,
it is not a charitable contribution.
- Costs of raffles, bingo, lottery, etc.
You cannot deduct as a
charitable contribution amounts you pay to buy raffle or lottery
tickets or to play bingo or other games of chance. For information on
how to report gambling winnings and losses, see Deductions Not
Subject to the 2% Limit in Publication 529.
- Dues to fraternal orders and similar groups.
However, see Membership fees or dues under
Contributions From Which You Benefit, earlier.
or amounts you pay instead of tuition,
even if you pay them for children to attend parochial schools or
qualifying nonprofit day-care centers. You also cannot deduct any
fixed amount you may be required to pay in addition to the tuition fee
to enroll in a private school, even if it is designated as a
- Contributions connected with split-dollar insurance
deduct any part of a contribution to a charitable organization if, in
connection with the contribution, the organization directly or
indirectly pays, has paid, or is expected to pay any premium on any
life insurance, annuity, or endowment contract for which you, any
member of your family or any other person chosen by you (other than a
qualified charitable organization) is a beneficiary.
Example. You donate money to a charitable organization.
The charity uses the money to purchase a cash value life insurance
policy. The beneficiaries under the insurance policy include members
of your family. Even though the charity may eventually get some
benefit out of the insurance policy, you cannot deduct any part of the
Value of Time or Services
You cannot deduct the value of your time or services, including:
- Blood donations
to the Red Cross or to blood
- The value of income lost while you work as an
unpaid volunteer for a qualified organization.
You cannot deduct personal, living, or family expenses, such as the
- The cost of meals
you eat while you perform services for a
qualified organization, unless it is necessary for you to be away from
home overnight while performing the services.
- Adoption expenses,
including fees paid to an
adoption agency and the costs of keeping a child in your home before
adoption is final. However, you may be able to claim a tax credit for
these expenses. Also, you may be able to exclude from your gross
income amounts paid or reimbursed by your employer for your adoption
expenses. See Publication 968,
Tax Benefits for Adoption,
for more information. You also may be able to claim an exemption
for the child. See Adoption in Publication 501
Fees that you pay to find the fair market value of donated property
are not deductible as contributions. You can claim them, subject to
the 2%-of-adjusted-gross-income limit, as a miscellaneous itemized
deduction on Schedule A (Form 1040). See Deductions Subject to
the 2% Limit in Publication 529
for more information.
Generally, you cannot deduct a contribution of less than your
entire interest in property. For details, see Partial interest in
property under Contributions of Property, later.
Previous| First | Next
Publication Index | IRS-Forms Main | Home