Internal Revenue Service United States Department of the Treasury
Level Basic Advanced Military International

Itemized Deductions

Gifts to Charity

Qualifying Organizations

A charitable contribution is a donation or gift to a qualified organization. Taxpayers must itemize deductions to be able to deduct a charitable contribution. Taxpayers can deduct contributions to qualifying organizations that:

  • Operate exclusively for religious, charitable, educational, scientific, or literary purposes, or
  • Work to prevent cruelty to children or animals, or
  • Foster national or international amateur sports competition if they do not provide athletic facilities or equipment

Other qualifying organizations include:

  • War veterans' organizations
  • Certain nonprofit cemetery companies or corporations
  • The United States, or any state, the District of Columbia, a U.S. possession (including Puerto Rico), a political subdivision of a state or U.S. possession, or an Indian tribal government or any of its subdivisions that perform substantial government functions
Tip

To be deductible, contributions must be made to a qualifying organization, not an individual.

Tip

Publication 78, Cumulative List of Organizations, is a list of organizations eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions. An online version is offered to help taxpayers conduct a more efficient search of these organizations.

To find out if the organization is a qualified charity, call the IRS at 1-877-829-5500 or refer to the IRS web site at www.irs.gov/.

Donation box with Schedule A, Gifts to Charity in the background.