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

 

This blog does not provide legal, financial, accounting, or tax advice. The content on this blog is “as is” and carries no warranties. TaxAudit does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, reliability, and completeness of the content of this blog. Content may become out of date as tax laws change. TaxAudit may, but has no obligation to monitor or respond to comments.