Tax Preparation Help  
Publication 526 2008 Tax Year

Publication 526 - Introductory Material

New recordkeeping requirements for cash contributions. You cannot deduct a cash contribution, regardless of the amount, unless you keep as a record of the contribution a bank record (such as a canceled check, a bank copy of a canceled check, or a bank statement containing the name of the charity, the date, and the amount) or a written communication from the charity. The written communication must include the name of the charity, date of the contribution, and amount of the contribution. See Records To Keep.

Filing fee for easements on buildings in historic districts. A new $500 filing fee must be paid for each qualified conservation contribution after February 12, 2007, that is an easement on a building in a registered historic district, if the claimed deduction is more than $10,000. See Building in registered historic district under Qualified Conservation Contribution.

Donor advised funds. Contributions to a donor advised fund after February 13, 2007, are not deductible in certain cases. To deduct these contributions, you must have an acknowledgment from the donee that the donee has exclusive legal control over the assets contributed. See Contributions to Donor Advised Funds under Contributions You Cannot Deduct.

Higher standard mileage rate for Hurricane Katrina expires. The higher standard mileage rate for the use of your car in giving services to a charitable organization to provide relief related to Hurricane Katrina has expired. See Out-of-Pocket Expenses in Giving Services for information about the car expenses you can deduct for 2007.

Limit on itemized deductions. For 2007, if your adjusted gross income is more than $156,400 ($78,200 if you are married filing separately), you may have to reduce the amount of certain itemized deductions, including charitable contributions. For more information and a worksheet, see the instructions for Schedule A (Form 1040).

Disaster relief. You can deduct contributions for flood relief, hurricane relief, or other disaster relief to a qualified organization (defined under Organizations That Qualify To Receive Deductible Contributions). However, you cannot deduct contributions earmarked for relief of a particular individual or family.

This publication explains how to claim a deduction for your charitable contributions. It discusses organizations that are qualified to receive deductible charitable contributions, the types of contributions you can deduct, how much you can deduct, what records to keep, and how to report charitable contributions.

A charitable contribution is a donation or gift to, or for the use of, a qualified organization. It is voluntary and is made without getting, or expecting to get, anything of equal value.

Qualified organizations.   Qualified organizations include nonprofit groups that are religious, charitable, educational, scientific, or literary in purpose, or that work to prevent cruelty to children or animals. You will find descriptions of these organizations under Organizations That Qualify To Receive Deductible Contributions.

Form 1040 required.   To deduct a charitable contribution, you must file Form 1040 and itemize deductions on Schedule A. The amount of your deduction may be limited if certain rules and limits explained in this publication apply to you.

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Internal Revenue Service
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Tax questions.   If you have a tax question, check the information available on or call 1-800-829-1040. We cannot answer tax questions sent to either of the above addresses.


  • 78 Cumulative List of Organizations

  • 561 Determining the Value of Donated Property

Form (and Instructions)

  • Schedule A (Form 1040)
    Itemized Deductions

  • 8283
    Noncash Charitable Contributions

See How To Get Tax Help near the end of this publication for information about getting these publications and forms.

Table 1. Examples of Charitable Contributions—A Quick Check

Use the following lists for a quick check of contributions you can or cannot deduct. See the rest of this publication for more information and additional rules and limits that may apply.
Deductible As
Charitable Contributions
Not Deductible As
Charitable Contributions
Money or property you give to: Money or property you give to:
  • Churches, synagogues, temples,
    mosques, and other religious

  • Federal, state, and local
    governments, if your contribution is
    solely for public purposes (for
    example, a gift to reduce the public

  • Nonprofit schools and hospitals

  • Public parks and recreation facilities

  • Salvation Army, Red Cross, CARE,
    Goodwill Industries, United Way, Boy
    Scouts, Girl Scouts, Boys and Girls
    Clubs of America, etc.

  • War veterans' groups

  • Charitable organizations listed in Publication 78

Expenses paid for a student living with you,
sponsored by a qualified organization

Out-of-pocket expenses when you serve a
qualified organization as a volunteer
  • Civic leagues, social and sports
    clubs, labor unions, and chambers of

  • Foreign organizations (except certain
    Canadian, Israeli, and Mexican

  • Groups that are run for personal

  • Groups whose purpose is to lobby for
    law changes

  • Homeowners' associations

  • Individuals

  • Political groups or candidates for
    public office

Cost of raffle, bingo, or lottery tickets

Dues, fees, or bills paid to country clubs,
lodges, fraternal orders, or similar groups


Value of your time or services

Value of blood given to a blood bank

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