Which Charitable Contributions are Tax Deductible?

Did you know charitable contributions can reduce your taxable income? Donations you've made to a qualified organization may be tax deductible.

Is my donation tax deductible?

For giving money, goods, or property to certain types of organizations, the IRS allows you to take a tax deduction. Only donations to groups defined by section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code are eligible. So, what contributions are tax deductible?


The fair market value of
donated items such as...




Household Goods

The exact price
you paid for ...

Food, such as canned
goods for a food bank

Money or property given to ...

Religious institutions

Federal, state, and
local governments (for public purposes)

Nonprofit schools, museums, and hospitals

Certain foundations, such as the American Red Cross

Veterans' groups

Volunteer firefighters' groups

And expenses from ...

Hosting a foreign student sponsored by a qualifying organization
(up to $50 per month)

Volunteering with a qualified organization
(e.g., transportation costs)


The following are not deductible...

Sports clubs fees

Union dues

Donations to most foreign organizations

Funds for lobbying groups

Homeowners' association dues

Donations to individual people, such as GoFundMe payments

Political donations

Raffle, bingo, or lottery tickets

Country club, fraternity, or sorority dues


The value of your time or services

Blood donations

Keep receipts to document your donations in case you get audited by the IRS.

Monetary contributions can be tracked with written or email receipts, bank statements, or credit card statements. Include the date, organization, and amount.

Deducting donations worth $250 or more requires a written letter from the accepting charity.

If you donate items worth more than $5,000, get a qualified appraisal. Attach Form 8283 to your return to prove this value.

Donations via automatic payroll deductions should appear on your W-2.

You generally must itemize your deductions to claim charitable contributions.

For your 2020, you can deduct up to $300 of donations per tax return if you take the standard deduction.

In 2021, you can claim up to $300 for a single filer or up to $600 for married couples filing jointly.