Christmas giving

March 05, 2014 by Dave Du Val, EA
Money wrapped in a bow

Dear Dave,

Our adult Sunday School class (of the local United Methodist Church) had a Christmas project of supplying Christmas clothes and toys for a needy family with several children and a disabled father. Only one member of the class knew the identity of the particular family. Each class member took on the purchase of a portion of the items needed. My share was toys appropriate for a 9-month old. I spent $68.68. Since this was a project under the aegis of the church, a 501(c)3 organization, will it work as a charitable deduction on Schedule A?

Sincerely,
Barbara



 

Barbara,

First I would like to salute your group for selecting a worthwhile activity to help someone who is not as fortunate as maybe you and I.

Now let’s talk taxes!  If your Sunday school class gave the items (toys, in your case) to the church (which, as you stated, is an IRS recognizable charitable organization) for the church to disseminate, it is going to work as an income tax deduction.  If your group, with all the best meanings in mind, gave the donations to a specific individual, regardless of how much need is there in that family, the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) does not allow a deduction for that on your taxes.  This is similar (according to the IRC and the IRS that enforce it) to you giving a few dollars to an individual you don’t even know holding a sign by the onramp to the freeway.  And that is not deductible.

Thank you for writing.

Deductibly yours,

Dave Du Val

 

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David E. Du Val, EA
Chief Compliance Officer for TRI Holdco

 

Dave Du Val, EA, is Chief Compliance Officer for TRI Holdco. Inc., the parent company of TaxAudit, and Centenal Tax Group. A nationally recognized speaker and educator, Dave is well known for his high energy and dynamic presentation style. He is a frequent and popular guest speaker for the California Society of Tax Consultants, the California Society of Enrolled Agents and the National Association of Tax Professionals. Dave frequently contributes tax tips and information to news publications, including US News and World Report, USA Today, and CPA Practice Advisor. Dave is an Enrolled Agent who has prepared thousands of returns during his career and has trained and mentored hundreds of tax professionals. He is a member of the National Association of Tax Professionals, the National Association of Enrolled Agents and the California Society of Enrolled Agents. Dave also holds a Master of Arts in Education and has been educating people since 1972. 


 

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