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Publication 526

Contributions You Can't Deduct(p6)

There are some contributions you can't deduct and others you can deduct only in part.
You can't deduct as a charitable contribution:
  1. A contribution to a specific individual,
  2. A contribution to a nonqualified organization,
  3. The part of a contribution from which you receive or expect to receive a benefit,
  4. The value of your time or services,
  5. Your personal expenses,
  6. A qualified charitable distribution from an individual retirement arrangement (IRA),
  7. Appraisal fees,
  8. Certain contributions to donor-advised funds, or
  9. Certain contributions of partial interests in property.
Detailed discussions of these items follow.

Contributions to Individuals(p6)

You can't deduct contributions to specific individuals, including the following.

Contributions to Nonqualified Organizations(p6)

You can't deduct contributions to organizations that aren't qualified to receive tax-deductible contributions, including the following.
  1. Certain state bar associations if:
    1. The bar isn't a political subdivision of a state;
    2. The bar has private, as well as public, purposes, such as promoting the professional interests of members; and
    3. Your contribution is unrestricted and can be used for private purposes.
  2. Chambers of commerce and other business leagues or organizations.
  3. Civic leagues and associations.
  4. Country clubs and other social clubs.
  5. Foreign organizations other than certain Canadian, Israeli, or Mexican charitable organizations. (See Canadian charities, Mexican charities, and Israeli charities under Organizations That Qualify To Receive Deductible Contributions, earlier.) Also, you can't deduct a contribution you made to any qualifying organization if the contribution is earmarked to go to a foreign organization. However, certain contributions to a qualified organization for use in a program conducted by a foreign charity may be deductible as long as they aren't earmarked to go to the foreign charity. For the contribution to be deductible, the qualified organization must approve the program as furthering its own exempt purposes and must keep control over the use of the contributed funds. The contribution is also deductible if the foreign charity is only an administrative arm of the qualified organization.
  6. Homeowners' associations.
  7. 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 Pub. 529, Miscellaneous Deductions.
  8. Political organizations and candidates.

Contributions From Which You Benefit(p6)

If you receive or expect to receive a financial or economic benefit as a result of making a contribution to a qualified organization, you can't 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 the following.

Qualified Charitable Distributions(p7)

A qualified charitable distribution (QCD) is a distribution made directly by the trustee of your individual retirement arrangement (IRA), other than a SEP or SIMPLE IRA, to certain qualified organizations. You must have been at least age 701/2 when the distribution was made. Your total QCDs for the year can't be more than $100,000. If all the requirements are met, a QCD is nontaxable, but you can't claim a charitable contribution deduction for a QCD. See Pub. 590-B, Distributions from Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs), for more information about QCDs.

Value of Time or Services(p7)

You can't deduct the value of your time or services, including:

Personal Expenses(p7)

You can't deduct personal, living, or family expenses, such as the following items.

Appraisal Fees(p7)

You can't deduct as a charitable contribution any fees you pay to find the fair market value of donated property. But 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 Pub. 529 for more information.

Contributions to Donor-Advised Funds(p7)

You can't deduct a contribution to a donor-advised fund if: There are also other circumstances in which you can't deduct your contribution to a donor-advised fund.
Generally, a donor-advised fund is a fund or account in which a donor can, because of being a donor, advise the fund how to distribute or invest amounts held in the fund. For details, see Internal Revenue Code section 170(f)(18).

Partial Interest in Property(p7)

Generally, you can't deduct a contribution of less than your entire interest in property. For details, see Partial Interest in Property under Contributions of Property, later.