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Sound OFF: Charitable Donations, Not Always Deductible

IRSIn the wake of events like Hurricane Sandy and the Newtown, Connecticut school shootings, hundreds of char ties seemed to pop up overnight, asking for donations to help those affected. It’s a natural human reaction to want to help, but not all charities are created equal. Some just set up a website and a “donate” button, with no assurances of where the money goes. Others list and address and phone number, but not much more. And some go so far as to incorporate, but even with the best of intentions, they won’t be of help come tax time unless they are recognized by the IRS as a 501 (c) 3 organization.

The 501 (c) 3 designation is required if you want to deduct a donation to the group. It also provides a level of assurance that the group has been properly organized, with a board of directors legally responsible for its finances.  The IRS has a search tool to help you determine who is exempt.

http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Exempt-Organizations-Select-Check

How many charities in Kansas ask for donations but are not recognized by the IRS?  Do you know any….. tell us in the comments section below.

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  • Taxpayer

    This stinks. Why can’t give to who i want and write it off. Dang IRS

  • sports teams

    The ones that get me, are the donations to kids sports teams. Most are NOT considered charitable organizations by IRS standards, so they are not deductible. Can you imagine the paperwork and cost to set up every youth team as a 501(c)(3)! They should have some kind of loop hole for them.