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Free federal tax forms Publication 559 - Introductory Material Table of Contents Future Developments Reminders Introduction Useful Items - You may want to see: Future Developments For the latest information about developments affecting Publication 559, such as legislation enacted after we release it, go to www. Free federal tax forms irs. Free federal tax forms gov/pub559. Free federal tax forms Reminders Throughout this publication, section references are to the Internal Revenue Code unless otherwise noted. Free federal tax forms Consistent treatment of estate and trust items. Free federal tax forms  Beneficiaries must generally treat estate items the same way on their individual returns as they are treated on the estate's return. Free federal tax forms Photographs of missing children. Free federal tax forms  The Internal Revenue Service is a proud partner with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Free federal tax forms Photographs of missing children selected by the Center may appear in this publication on pages that would otherwise be blank. Free federal tax forms You can help bring these children home by looking at the photographs and calling 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) if you recognize a child. Free federal tax forms Introduction This publication is designed to help those in charge (personal representatives) of the property (estate) of an individual who has died (decedent). Free federal tax forms It shows them how to complete and file federal income tax returns and explains their responsibility to pay any taxes due on behalf of the decedent. Free federal tax forms A comprehensive example of the decedent's final tax return, Form 1040, and estate's income tax return, Form 1041, are included in this publication. Free federal tax forms The publication also explains how much money or property a taxpayer can give away during their lifetime or leave to their heirs at their death before any tax will be owed. Free federal tax forms A discussion of Form 709, United States Gift (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return, and Form 706, United States Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return, is included. Free federal tax forms Also included in this publication are the following items: A checklist of the forms you may need and their due dates. Free federal tax forms A worksheet to reconcile amounts reported in the decedent's name on information returns including Forms W-2, 1099-INT, 1099-DIV, etc. Free federal tax forms The worksheet will help you correctly determine the income to report on the decedent's final return and on the return for either the estate or a beneficiary. Free federal tax forms Comments and suggestions. Free federal tax forms   We welcome your comments about this publication and your suggestions for future editions. Free federal tax forms   You can send us comments from http://www. Free federal tax forms irs. Free federal tax forms gov/formspubs. Free federal tax forms Click on “More Information” and then on “Give us Feedback. Free federal tax forms ” Or you can also send your comments to the Internal Revenue Service, Tax Forms and Publications Division, 1111 Constitution Ave. Free federal tax forms NW, IR-6526, Washington, DC 20224. Free federal tax forms Useful Items - You may want to see: Publication 3 Armed Forces' Tax Guide Form (and Instructions) SS-4 Application for Employer Identification Number 56 Notice Concerning Fiduciary Relationship 1040 U. Free federal tax forms S. Free federal tax forms Individual Income Tax Return 1041 U. Free federal tax forms S. Free federal tax forms Income Tax Return for Estates and Trusts 706 United States Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return 709 United States Gift (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return 1310 Statement of Person Claiming Refund Due a Deceased Taxpayer  See How To Get Tax Help near the end of this publication for information about getting publications and forms. Free federal tax forms Also near the end of this publication is Table A, a checklist of forms and their due dates for the executor, administrator, or personal representative. Free federal tax forms Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications
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Free federal tax forms 24. Free federal tax forms   Contributions Table of Contents Introduction Useful Items - You may want to see: Organizations That Qualify To Receive Deductible ContributionsTypes of Qualified Organizations Contributions You Can DeductContributions From Which You Benefit Expenses Paid for Student Living With You Out-of-Pocket Expenses in Giving Services Contributions You Cannot DeductContributions to Individuals Contributions to Nonqualified Organizations Contributions From Which You Benefit Value of Time or Services Personal Expenses Appraisal Fees Contributions of PropertyException. Free federal tax forms Household items. Free federal tax forms Deduction more than $500. Free federal tax forms Form 1098-C. Free federal tax forms Filing deadline approaching and still no Form 1098-C. Free federal tax forms Exception 1—vehicle used or improved by organization. Free federal tax forms Exception 2—vehicle given or sold to needy individual. Free federal tax forms Deduction $500 or less. Free federal tax forms Right to use property. Free federal tax forms Tangible personal property. Free federal tax forms Future interest. Free federal tax forms Determining Fair Market Value Giving Property That Has Decreased in Value Giving Property That Has Increased in Value When To DeductChecks. Free federal tax forms Text message. Free federal tax forms Credit card. Free federal tax forms Pay-by-phone account. Free federal tax forms Stock certificate. Free federal tax forms Promissory note. Free federal tax forms Option. Free federal tax forms Borrowed funds. Free federal tax forms Limits on DeductionsCarryovers Records To KeepCash Contributions Noncash Contributions Out-of-Pocket Expenses How To Report Introduction This chapter explains how to claim a deduction for your charitable contributions. Free federal tax forms It discusses the following topics. Free federal tax forms The types of organizations to which you can make deductible charitable contributions. Free federal tax forms The types of contributions you can deduct. Free federal tax forms How much you can deduct. Free federal tax forms What records you must keep. Free federal tax forms How to report your charitable contributions. Free federal tax forms A charitable contribution is a donation or gift to, or for the use of, a qualified organization. Free federal tax forms It is voluntary and is made without getting, or expecting to get, anything of equal value. Free federal tax forms Form 1040 required. Free federal tax forms    To deduct a charitable contribution, you must file Form 1040 and itemize deductions on Schedule A. Free federal tax forms The amount of your deduction may be limited if certain rules and limits explained in this chapter apply to you. Free federal tax forms The limits are explained in detail in Publication 526. Free federal tax forms Useful Items - You may want to see: Publication 526 Charitable Contributions 561 Determining the Value of Donated Property Form (and Instructions) Schedule A (Form 1040) Itemized Deductions 8283 Noncash Charitable Contributions Organizations That Qualify To Receive Deductible Contributions You can deduct your contributions only if you make them to a qualified organization. Free federal tax forms Most organizations other than churches and governments must apply to the IRS to become a qualified organization. Free federal tax forms How to check whether an organization can receive deductible charitable contributions. Free federal tax forms   You can ask any organization whether it is a qualified organization, and most will be able to tell you. Free federal tax forms Or go to IRS. Free federal tax forms gov. Free federal tax forms Click on “Tools” and then on “Exempt Organizations Select Check” (www. Free federal tax forms irs. Free federal tax forms gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Exempt-Organizations-Select-Check). Free federal tax forms This online tool will enable you to search for qualified organizations. Free federal tax forms You can also call the IRS to find out if an organization is qualified. Free federal tax forms Call 1-877-829-5500. Free federal tax forms People who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability and who have access to TTY/TDD equipment can call 1-800-829-4059. Free federal tax forms Deaf or hard of hearing individuals can also contact the IRS through relay services such as the Federal Relay Service at www. Free federal tax forms gsa. Free federal tax forms gov/fedrelay. Free federal tax forms Types of Qualified Organizations Generally, only the following types of organizations can be qualified organizations. Free federal tax forms A community chest, corporation, trust, fund, or foundation organized or created in or under the laws of the United States, any state, the District of Columbia, or any possession of the United States (including Puerto Rico). Free federal tax forms It must, however, be organized and operated only for charitable, religious, scientific, literary, or educational purposes, or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals. Free federal tax forms Certain organizations that foster national or international amateur sports competition also qualify. Free federal tax forms War veterans' organizations, including posts, auxiliaries, trusts, or foundations, organized in the United States or any of its possessions (including Puerto Rico). Free federal tax forms Domestic fraternal societies, orders, and associations operating under the lodge system. Free federal tax forms (Your contribution to this type of organization is deductible only if it is to be used solely for charitable, religious, scientific, literary, or educational purposes, or for the prevention of cruelty to children or animals. Free federal tax forms ) Certain nonprofit cemetery companies or corporations. Free federal tax forms (Your contribution to this type of organization is not deductible if it can be used for the care of a specific lot or mausoleum crypt. Free federal tax forms ) The United States or any state, the District of Columbia, a U. Free federal tax forms S. Free federal tax forms possession (including Puerto Rico), a political subdivision of a state or U. Free federal tax forms S. Free federal tax forms possession, or an Indian tribal government or any of its subdivisions that perform substantial government functions. Free federal tax forms (Your contribution to this type of organization is only deductible if it is to be used solely for public purposes. Free federal tax forms ) Examples. Free federal tax forms    The following list gives some examples of qualified organizations. Free federal tax forms Churches, a convention or association of churches, temples, synagogues, mosques, and other religious organizations. Free federal tax forms Most nonprofit charitable organizations such as the American Red Cross and the United Way. Free federal tax forms Most nonprofit educational organizations, including the Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of America, colleges, and museums. Free federal tax forms This also includes nonprofit daycare centers that provide childcare to the general public if substantially all the childcare is provided to enable parents and guardians to be gainfully employed. Free federal tax forms However, if your contribution is a substitute for tuition or other enrollment fee, it is not deductible as a charitable contribution, as explained later under Contributions You Cannot Deduct . Free federal tax forms Nonprofit hospitals and medical research organizations. Free federal tax forms Utility company emergency energy programs, if the utility company is an agent for a charitable organization that assists individuals with emergency energy needs. Free federal tax forms Nonprofit volunteer fire companies. Free federal tax forms Nonprofit organizations that develop and maintain public parks and recreation facilities. Free federal tax forms Civil defense organizations. Free federal tax forms Certain foreign charitable organizations. Free federal tax forms   Under income tax treaties with Canada, Israel, and Mexico, you may be able to deduct contributions to certain Canadian, Israeli, or Mexican charitable organizations. Free federal tax forms Generally, you must have income from sources in that country. Free federal tax forms For additional information on the deduction of contributions to Canadian charities, see Publication 597, Information on the United States–Canada Income Tax Treaty. Free federal tax forms If you need more information on how to figure your contribution to Mexican and Israeli charities, see Publication 526. Free federal tax forms Contributions You Can Deduct Generally, you can deduct contributions of money or property you make to, or for the use of, a qualified organization. Free federal tax forms A contribution is “for the use of” a qualified organization when it is held in a legally enforceable trust for the qualified organization or in a similar legal arrangement. Free federal tax forms The contributions must be made to a qualified organization and not set aside for use by a specific person. Free federal tax forms If you give property to a qualified organization, you generally can deduct the fair market value of the property at the time of the contribution. Free federal tax forms See Contributions of Property , later in this chapter. Free federal tax forms Your deduction for charitable contributions generally cannot be more than 50% of your adjusted gross income (AGI), but in some cases 20% and 30% limits may apply. Free federal tax forms See Limits on Deductions , later. Free federal tax forms In addition, the total of your charitable contribution deduction and certain other itemized deductions may be limited. Free federal tax forms See chapter 29. Free federal tax forms Table 24-1 gives examples of contributions you can and cannot deduct. Free federal tax forms Contributions From Which You Benefit If you receive a benefit as a result of making a contribution to a qualified organization, you can deduct only the amount of your contribution that is more than the value of the benefit you receive. Free federal tax forms Also see Contributions From Which You Benefit under Contributions You Cannot Deduct, later. Free federal tax forms If you pay more than fair market value to a qualified organization for goods or services, the excess may be a charitable contribution. Free federal tax forms For the excess amount to qualify, you must pay it with the intent to make a charitable contribution. Free federal tax forms Example 1. Free federal tax forms You pay $65 for a ticket to a dinner-dance at a church. Free federal tax forms Your entire $65 payment goes to the church. Free federal tax forms The ticket to the dinner-dance has a fair market value of $25. Free federal tax forms When you buy your ticket, you know that its value is less than your payment. Free federal tax forms To figure the amount of your charitable contribution, subtract the value of the benefit you receive ($25) from your total payment ($65). Free federal tax forms You can deduct $40 as a contribution to the church. Free federal tax forms Example 2. Free federal tax forms At a fundraising auction conducted by a charity, you pay $600 for a week's stay at a beach house. Free federal tax forms The amount you pay is no more than the fair rental value. Free federal tax forms You have not made a deductible charitable contribution. Free federal tax forms Athletic events. Free federal tax forms   If you make a payment to, or for the benefit of, a college or university and, as a result, you receive the right to buy tickets to an athletic event in the athletic stadium of the college or university, you can deduct 80% of the payment as a charitable contribution. Free federal tax forms   If any part of your payment is for tickets (rather than the right to buy tickets), that part is not deductible. Free federal tax forms Subtract the price of the tickets from your payment. Free federal tax forms You can deduct 80% of the remaining amount as a charitable contribution. Free federal tax forms Example 1. Free federal tax forms You pay $300 a year for membership in a university's athletic scholarship program. Free federal tax forms The only benefit of membership is that you have the right to buy one season ticket for a seat in a designated area of the stadium at the university's home football games. Free federal tax forms You can deduct $240 (80% of $300) as a charitable contribution. Free federal tax forms Table 24-1. Free federal tax forms Examples of Charitable Contributions—A Quick Check Use the following lists for a quick check of whether you can deduct a contribution. Free federal tax forms See the rest of this chapter for more information and additional rules and limits that may apply. Free federal tax forms Deductible As  Charitable Contributions Not Deductible  As Charitable Contributions Money or property you give to:  Churches, synagogues, temples, mosques, and other religious organizations Federal, state, and local governments, if your contribution is solely for public purposes (for example, a gift to reduce the public debt or maintain a public park) Nonprofit schools and hospitals The Salvation Army, American Red Cross, CARE, Goodwill Industries, United Way, Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of America, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, etc. Free federal tax forms War veterans groups   Expenses paid for a student living with you, sponsored by a qualified organization  Out-of-pocket expenses when you serve a qualified organization as a volunteer Money or property you give to:  Civic leagues, social and sports clubs, labor unions, and chambers of commerce Foreign organizations (except certain Canadian, Israeli, and Mexican charities) Groups that are run for personal profit Groups whose purpose is to lobby for law changes Homeowners' associations Individuals Political groups or candidates for public office   Cost of raffle, bingo, or lottery tickets  Dues, fees, or bills paid to country clubs, lodges, fraternal orders, or similar groups  Tuition  Value of your time or services  Value of blood given to a blood bank    Example 2. Free federal tax forms The facts are the same as in Example 1 except your $300 payment includes the purchase of one season ticket for the stated ticket price of $120. Free federal tax forms You must subtract the usual price of a ticket ($120) from your $300 payment. Free federal tax forms The result is $180. Free federal tax forms Your deductible charitable contribution is $144 (80% of $180). Free federal tax forms Charity benefit events. Free federal tax forms   If you pay a qualified organization more than fair market value for the right to attend a charity ball, banquet, show, sporting event, or other benefit event, you can deduct only the amount that is more than the value of the privileges or other benefits you receive. Free federal tax forms   If there is an established charge for the event, that charge is the value of your benefit. Free federal tax forms If there is no established charge, the reasonable value of the right to attend the event is the value of your benefit. Free federal tax forms Whether you use the tickets or other privileges has no effect on the amount you can deduct. Free federal tax forms However, if you return the ticket to the qualified organization for resale, you can deduct the entire amount you paid for the ticket. Free federal tax forms    Even if the ticket or other evidence of payment indicates that the payment is a “contribution,” this does not mean you can deduct the entire amount. Free federal tax forms If the ticket shows the price of admission and the amount of the contribution, you can deduct the contribution amount. Free federal tax forms Example. Free federal tax forms You pay $40 to see a special showing of a movie for the benefit of a qualified organization. Free federal tax forms Printed on the ticket is “Contribution—$40. Free federal tax forms ” If the regular price for the movie is $8, your contribution is $32 ($40 payment − $8 regular price). Free federal tax forms Membership fees or dues. Free federal tax forms    You may be able to deduct membership fees or dues you pay to a qualified organization. Free federal tax forms However, you can deduct only the amount that is more than the value of the benefits you receive. Free federal tax forms    You cannot deduct dues, fees, or assessments paid to country clubs and other social organizations. Free federal tax forms They are not qualified organizations. Free federal tax forms Certain membership benefits can be disregarded. Free federal tax forms   Both you and the organization can disregard the following membership benefits if you receive them in return for an annual payment of $75 or less. Free federal tax forms Any rights or privileges, other than those discussed under Athletic events , earlier, that you can use frequently while you are a member, such as: Free or discounted admission to the organization's facilities or events, Free or discounted parking, Preferred access to goods or services, and Discounts on the purchase of goods and services. Free federal tax forms Admission, while you are a member, to events open only to members of the organization, if the organization reasonably projects that the cost per person (excluding any allocated overhead) is not more than $10. Free federal tax forms 20. Free federal tax forms Token items. Free federal tax forms   You do not have to reduce your contribution by the value of any benefit you receive if both of the following are true. Free federal tax forms You receive only a small item or other benefit of token value. Free federal tax forms The qualified organization correctly determines that the value of the item or benefit you received is not substantial and informs you that you can deduct your payment in full. Free federal tax forms Written statement. Free federal tax forms   A qualified organization must give you a written statement if you make a payment of more than $75 that is partly a contribution and partly for goods or services. Free federal tax forms The statement must say that you can deduct only the amount of your payment that is more than the value of the goods or services you received. Free federal tax forms It must also give you a good faith estimate of the value of those goods or services. Free federal tax forms   The organization can give you the statement either when it solicits or when it receives the payment from you. Free federal tax forms Exception. Free federal tax forms   An organization will not have to give you this statement if one of the following is true. Free federal tax forms The organization is: A governmental organization described in (5) under Types of Qualified Organizations , earlier, or An organization formed only for religious purposes, and the only benefit you receive is an intangible religious benefit (such as admission to a religious ceremony) that generally is not sold in commercial transactions outside the donative context. Free federal tax forms You receive only items whose value is not substantial as described under Token items , earlier. Free federal tax forms You receive only membership benefits that can be disregarded, as described earlier. Free federal tax forms Expenses Paid for Student Living With You You may be able to deduct some expenses of having a student live with you. Free federal tax forms You can deduct qualifying expenses for a foreign or American student who: Lives in your home under a written agreement between you and a qualified organization as part of a program of the organization to provide educational opportunities for the student, Is not your relative or dependent, and Is a full-time student in the twelfth or any lower grade at a school in the United States. Free federal tax forms You can deduct up to $50 a month for each full calendar month the student lives with you. Free federal tax forms Any month when conditions (1) through (3) are met for 15 days or more counts as a full month. Free federal tax forms For additional information, see Expenses Paid for Student Living With You in Publication 526. Free federal tax forms Mutual exchange program. Free federal tax forms   You cannot deduct the costs of a foreign student living in your home under a mutual exchange program through which your child will live with a family in a foreign country. Free federal tax forms Table 24-2. Free federal tax forms Volunteers' Questions and Answers If you volunteer for a qualified organization, the following questions and answers may apply to you. Free federal tax forms All of the rules explained in this chapter also apply. Free federal tax forms See, in particular, Out-of-Pocket Expenses in Giving Services . Free federal tax forms Question Answer I volunteer 6 hours a week in the office of a qualified organization. Free federal tax forms The receptionist is paid $10 an hour for the same work. Free federal tax forms Can I deduct $60 a week for my time?    No, you cannot deduct the value of your time or services. Free federal tax forms The office is 30 miles from my home. Free federal tax forms Can I deduct any of my car expenses for these trips? Yes, you can deduct the costs of gas and oil that are directly related to getting to and from the place where you volunteer. Free federal tax forms If you don't want to figure your actual costs, you can deduct 14 cents for each mile. Free federal tax forms I volunteer as a Red Cross nurse's aide at a hospital. Free federal tax forms Can I deduct the cost of the uniforms I must wear? Yes, you can deduct the cost of buying and cleaning your uniforms if the hospital is a qualified organization, the uniforms are not suitable for everyday use, and you must wear them when volunteering. Free federal tax forms I pay a babysitter to watch my children while I volunteer for a qualified organization. Free federal tax forms Can I deduct these costs? No, you cannot deduct payments for childcare expenses as a charitable contribution, even if you would be unable to volunteer without childcare. Free federal tax forms (If you have childcare expenses so you can work for pay, see chapter 32. Free federal tax forms ) Out-of-Pocket Expenses in Giving Services Although you cannot deduct the value of your services given to a qualified organization, you may be able to deduct some amounts you pay in giving services to a qualified organization. Free federal tax forms The amounts must be: Unreimbursed, Directly connected with the services, Expenses you had only because of the services you gave, and Not personal, living, or family expenses. Free federal tax forms Table 24-2 contains questions and answers that apply to some individuals who volunteer their services. Free federal tax forms Conventions. Free federal tax forms   If a qualified organization selects you to attend a convention as its representative, you can deduct unreimbursed expenses for travel, including reasonable amounts for meals and lodging, while away from home overnight in connection with the convention. Free federal tax forms However, see Travel , later. Free federal tax forms   You cannot deduct personal expenses for sightseeing, fishing parties, theater tickets, or nightclubs. Free federal tax forms You also cannot deduct transportation, meals and lodging, and other expenses for your spouse or children. Free federal tax forms    You cannot deduct your travel expenses in attending a church convention if you go only as a member of your church rather than as a chosen representative. Free federal tax forms You can, however, deduct unreimbursed expenses that are directly connected with giving services for your church during the convention. Free federal tax forms Uniforms. Free federal tax forms   You can deduct the cost and upkeep of uniforms that are not suitable for everyday use and that you must wear while performing donated services for a charitable organization. Free federal tax forms Foster parents. Free federal tax forms   You may be able to deduct as a charitable contribution some of the costs of being a foster parent (foster care provider) if you have no profit motive in providing the foster care and are not, in fact, making a profit. Free federal tax forms A qualified organization must select the individuals you take into your home for foster care. Free federal tax forms    You can deduct expenses that meet both of the following requirements. Free federal tax forms They are unreimbursed out-of-pocket expenses to feed, clothe, and care for the foster child. Free federal tax forms They are incurred primarily to benefit the qualified organization. Free federal tax forms   Unreimbursed expenses that you cannot deduct as charitable contributions may be considered support provided by you in determining whether you can claim the foster child as a dependent. Free federal tax forms For details, see chapter 3. Free federal tax forms Example. Free federal tax forms You cared for a foster child because you wanted to adopt her, not to benefit the agency that placed her in your home. Free federal tax forms Your unreimbursed expenses are not deductible as charitable contributions. Free federal tax forms Car expenses. Free federal tax forms   You can deduct as a charitable contribution any unreimbursed out-of-pocket expenses, such as the cost of gas and oil, that are directly related to the use of your car in giving services to a charitable organization. Free federal tax forms You cannot deduct general repair and maintenance expenses, depreciation, registration fees, or the costs of tires or insurance. Free federal tax forms    If you do not want to deduct your actual expenses, you can use a standard mileage rate of 14 cents a mile to figure your contribution. Free federal tax forms   You can deduct parking fees and tolls whether you use your actual expenses or the standard mileage rate. Free federal tax forms   You must keep reliable written records of your car expenses. Free federal tax forms For more information, see Car expenses under Records To Keep, later. Free federal tax forms Travel. Free federal tax forms   Generally, you can claim a charitable contribution deduction for travel expenses necessarily incurred while you are away from home performing services for a charitable organization only if there is no significant element of personal pleasure, recreation, or vacation in the travel. Free federal tax forms This applies whether you pay the expenses directly or indirectly. Free federal tax forms You are paying the expenses indirectly if you make a payment to the charitable organization and the organization pays for your travel expenses. Free federal tax forms   The deduction for travel expenses will not be denied simply because you enjoy providing services to the charitable organization. Free federal tax forms Even if you enjoy the trip, you can take a charitable contribution deduction for your travel expenses if you are on duty in a genuine and substantial sense throughout the trip. Free federal tax forms However, if you have only nominal duties, or if for significant parts of the trip you do not have any duties, you cannot deduct your travel expenses. Free federal tax forms Example 1. Free federal tax forms You are a troop leader for a tax-exempt youth group and you take the group on a camping trip. Free federal tax forms You are responsible for overseeing the setup of the camp and for providing adult supervision for other activities during the entire trip. Free federal tax forms You participate in the activities of the group and enjoy your time with them. Free federal tax forms You oversee the breaking of camp and you transport the group home. Free federal tax forms You can deduct your travel expenses. Free federal tax forms Example 2. Free federal tax forms You sail from one island to another and spend 8 hours a day counting whales and other forms of marine life. Free federal tax forms The project is sponsored by a charitable organization. Free federal tax forms In most circumstances, you cannot deduct your expenses. Free federal tax forms Example 3. Free federal tax forms You work for several hours each morning on an archaeological dig sponsored by a charitable organization. Free federal tax forms The rest of the day is free for recreation and sightseeing. Free federal tax forms You cannot take a charitable contribution deduction even though you work very hard during those few hours. Free federal tax forms Example 4. Free federal tax forms You spend the entire day attending a charitable organization's regional meeting as a chosen representative. Free federal tax forms In the evening you go to the theater. Free federal tax forms You can claim your travel expenses as charitable contributions, but you cannot claim the cost of your evening at the theater. Free federal tax forms Daily allowance (per diem). Free federal tax forms   If you provide services for a charitable organization and receive a daily allowance to cover reasonable travel expenses, including meals and lodging while away from home overnight, you must include in income any part of the allowance that is more than your deductible travel expenses. Free federal tax forms You may be able to deduct any necessary travel expenses that are more than the allowance. Free federal tax forms Deductible travel expenses. Free federal tax forms   These include: Air, rail, and bus transportation, Out-of-pocket expenses for your car, Taxi fares or other costs of transportation between the airport or station and your hotel, Lodging costs, and The cost of meals. Free federal tax forms Because these travel expenses are not business-related, they are not subject to the same limits as business-related expenses. Free federal tax forms For information on business travel expenses, see Travel Expenses in chapter 26. Free federal tax forms Contributions You Cannot Deduct There are some contributions you cannot deduct, such as those made to specific individuals and those made to nonqualified organizations. Free federal tax forms (See Contributions to Individuals and Contributions to Nonqualified Organizations , next. Free federal tax forms ) There are others you can deduct only part of, as discussed later under Contributions From Which You Benefit . Free federal tax forms Contributions to Individuals You cannot deduct contributions to specific individuals, including the following. Free federal tax forms Contributions to fraternal societies made for the purpose of paying medical or burial expenses of deceased members. Free federal tax forms Contributions to individuals who are needy or worthy. Free federal tax forms You cannot deduct these contributions even if you make them to a qualified organization for the benefit of a specific person. Free federal tax forms But you can deduct a contribution to a qualified organization that helps needy or worthy individuals if you do not indicate that your contribution is for a specific person. Free federal tax forms Example. Free federal tax forms You can deduct contributions to a qualified organization for flood relief, hurricane relief, or other disaster relief. Free federal tax forms However, you cannot deduct contributions earmarked for relief of a particular individual or family. Free federal tax forms Payments to a member of the clergy that can be spent as he or she wishes, such as for personal expenses. Free federal tax forms Expenses you paid for another person who provided services to a qualified organization. Free federal tax forms Example. Free federal tax forms Your son does missionary work. Free federal tax forms You pay his expenses. Free federal tax forms You cannot claim a deduction for your son's unreimbursed expenses related to his contribution of services. Free federal tax forms Payments to a hospital that are for a specific patient's care or for services for a specific patient. Free federal tax forms You cannot deduct these payments even if the hospital is operated by a city, a state, or other qualified organization. Free federal tax forms Contributions to Nonqualified Organizations You cannot deduct contributions to organizations that are not qualified to receive tax-deductible contributions, including the following. Free federal tax forms Certain state bar associations if: The bar is not a political subdivision of a state, The bar has private, as well as public, purposes, such as promoting the professional interests of members, and Your contribution is unrestricted and can be used for private purposes. Free federal tax forms Chambers of commerce and other business leagues or organizations (but see chapter 28). Free federal tax forms Civic leagues and associations. Free federal tax forms Communist organizations. Free federal tax forms Country clubs and other social clubs. Free federal tax forms Most foreign organizations (other than certain Canadian, Israeli, or Mexican charitable organizations). Free federal tax forms For details, see Publication 526. Free federal tax forms Homeowners' associations. Free federal tax forms Labor unions (but see chapter 28). Free federal tax forms Political organizations and candidates. Free federal tax forms Contributions From Which You Benefit If you receive or expect to receive a financial or economic benefit as a result of making a contribution to a qualified organization, you cannot deduct the part of the contribution that represents the value of the benefit you receive. Free federal tax forms See Contributions From Which You Benefit under Contributions You Can Deduct, earlier. Free federal tax forms These contributions include the following. Free federal tax forms Contributions for lobbying. Free federal tax forms This includes amounts that you earmark for use in, or in connection with, influencing specific legislation. Free federal tax forms Contributions to a retirement home for room, board, maintenance, or admittance. Free federal tax forms Also, if the amount of your contribution depends on the type or size of apartment you will occupy, it is not a charitable contribution. Free federal tax forms Costs of raffles, bingo, lottery, etc. Free federal tax forms You cannot deduct as a charitable contribution amounts you pay to buy raffle or lottery tickets or to play bingo or other games of chance. Free federal tax forms For information on how to report gambling winnings and losses, see Gambling winnings in chapter 12 and Gambling Losses Up to the Amount of Gambling Winnings in chapter 28. Free federal tax forms Dues to fraternal orders and similar groups. Free federal tax forms However, see Membership fees or dues , earlier, under Contributions You Can Deduct. Free federal tax forms Tuition, or amounts you pay instead of tuition. Free federal tax forms You cannot deduct as a charitable contribution amounts you pay as tuition even if you pay them for children to attend parochial schools or qualifying nonprofit daycare centers. Free federal tax forms You also cannot deduct any fixed amount you must pay in addition to, or instead of, tuition to enroll in a private school, even if it is designated as a “donation. Free federal tax forms ” Value of Time or Services You cannot deduct the value of your time or services, including: Blood donations to the American Red Cross or to blood banks, and The value of income lost while you work as an unpaid volunteer for a qualified organization. Free federal tax forms Personal Expenses You cannot deduct personal, living, or family expenses, such as the following items. Free federal tax forms The cost of meals you eat while you perform services for a qualified organization unless it is necessary for you to be away from home overnight while performing the services. Free federal tax forms Adoption expenses, including fees paid to an adoption agency and the costs of keeping a child in your home before adoption is final (but see Adoption Credit in chapter 37, and the instructions for Form 8839, Qualified Adoption Expenses). Free federal tax forms You also may be able to claim an exemption for the child. Free federal tax forms See Adopted child in chapter 3. Free federal tax forms Appraisal Fees You cannot deduct as a charitable contribution any fees you pay to find the fair market value of donated property (but see chapter 28). Free federal tax forms Contributions of Property If you contribute property to a qualified organization, the amount of your charitable contribution is generally the fair market value of the property at the time of the contribution. Free federal tax forms However, if the property has increased in value, you may have to make some adjustments to the amount of your deduction. Free federal tax forms See Giving Property That Has Increased in Value , later. Free federal tax forms For information about the records you must keep and the information you must furnish with your return if you donate property, see Records To Keep and How To Report , later. Free federal tax forms Clothing and household items. Free federal tax forms   You cannot take a deduction for clothing or household items you donate unless the clothing or household items are in good used condition or better. Free federal tax forms Exception. Free federal tax forms   You can take a deduction for a contribution of an item of clothing or household item that is not in good used condition or better if you deduct more than $500 for it and include a qualified appraisal of it with your return. Free federal tax forms Household items. Free federal tax forms   Household items include: Furniture and furnishings, Electronics, Appliances, Linens, and Other similar items. Free federal tax forms   Household items do not include: Food, Paintings, antiques, and other objects of art, Jewelry and gems, and Collections. Free federal tax forms Cars, boats, and airplanes. Free federal tax forms    The following rules apply to any donation of a qualified vehicle. Free federal tax forms A qualified vehicle is: A car or any motor vehicle manufactured mainly for use on public streets, roads, and highways, A boat, or An airplane. Free federal tax forms Deduction more than $500. Free federal tax forms   If you donate a qualified vehicle with a claimed fair market value of more than $500, you can deduct the smaller of: The gross proceeds from the sale of the vehicle by the organization, or The vehicle's fair market value on the date of the contribution. Free federal tax forms If the vehicle's fair market value was more than your cost or other basis, you may have to reduce the fair market value to figure the deductible amount, as described under Giving Property That Has Increased in Value , later. Free federal tax forms Form 1098-C. Free federal tax forms   You must attach to your return Copy B of the Form 1098-C, Contributions of Motor Vehicles, Boats, and Airplanes, (or other statement containing the same information as Form 1098-C) you received from the organization. Free federal tax forms The Form 1098-C (or other statement) will show the gross proceeds from the sale of the vehicle. Free federal tax forms   If you e-file your return, you must: Attach Copy B of Form 1098-C to Form 8453 and mail the forms to the IRS, or Include Copy B of Form 1098-C as a pdf attachment if your software program allows it. Free federal tax forms   If you do not attach Form 1098-C (or other statement), you cannot deduct your contribution. Free federal tax forms    You must get Form 1098-C (or other statement) within 30 days of the sale of the vehicle. Free federal tax forms But if exception 1 or 2 (described later) applies, you must get Form 1098-C (or other statement) within 30 days of your donation. Free federal tax forms Filing deadline approaching and still no Form 1098-C. Free federal tax forms   If the filing deadline is approaching and you still do not have a Form 1098-C, you have two choices. Free federal tax forms Request an automatic 6-month extension of time to file your return. Free federal tax forms You can get this extension by filing Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U. Free federal tax forms S. Free federal tax forms Individual Income Tax Return. Free federal tax forms  For more information, see Automatic Extension in chapter 1. Free federal tax forms File the return on time without claiming the deduction for the qualified vehicle. Free federal tax forms After receiving the Form 1098-C, file an amended return, Form 1040X, claiming the deduction. Free federal tax forms Attach Copy B of Form 1098-C (or other statement) to the amended return. Free federal tax forms For more information about amended returns, see Amended Returns and Claims for Refund in chapter 1. Free federal tax forms Exceptions. Free federal tax forms   There are two exceptions to the rules just described for deductions of more than $500. Free federal tax forms Exception 1—vehicle used or improved by organization. Free federal tax forms   If the qualified organization makes a significant intervening use of or material improvement to the vehicle before transferring it, you generally can deduct the vehicle's fair market value at the time of the contribution. Free federal tax forms But if the vehicle's fair market value was more than your cost or other basis, you may have to reduce the fair market value to get the deductible amount, as described under Giving Property That Has Increased in Value , later. Free federal tax forms The Form 1098-C (or other statement) will show whether this exception applies. Free federal tax forms Exception 2—vehicle given or sold to needy individual. Free federal tax forms   If the qualified organization will give the vehicle, or sell it for a price well below fair market value, to a needy individual to further the organization's charitable purpose, you generally can deduct the vehicle's fair market value at the time of the contribution. Free federal tax forms But if the vehicle's fair market value was more than your cost or other basis, you may have to reduce the fair market value to get the deductible amount, as described under Giving Property That Has Increased in Value , later. Free federal tax forms The Form 1098-C (or other statement) will show whether this exception applies. Free federal tax forms   This exception does not apply if the organization sells the vehicle at auction. Free federal tax forms In that case, you cannot deduct the vehicle's fair market value. Free federal tax forms Example. Free federal tax forms Anita donates a used car to a qualified organization. Free federal tax forms She bought it 3 years ago for $9,000. Free federal tax forms A used car guide shows the fair market value for this type of car is $6,000. Free federal tax forms However, Anita gets a Form 1098-C from the organization showing the car was sold for $2,900. Free federal tax forms Neither exception 1 nor exception 2 applies. Free federal tax forms If Anita itemizes her deductions, she can deduct $2,900 for her donation. Free federal tax forms She must attach Form 1098-C and Form 8283 to her return. Free federal tax forms Deduction $500 or less. Free federal tax forms   If the qualified organization sells the vehicle for $500 or less and exceptions 1 and 2 do not apply, you can deduct the smaller of: $500, or The vehicle's fair market value on the date of the contribution. Free federal tax forms But if the vehicle's fair market value was more than your cost or other basis, you may have to reduce the fair market value to get the deductible amount, as described under Giving Property That Has Increased in Value , later. Free federal tax forms   If the vehicle's fair market value is at least $250 but not more than $500, you must have a written statement from the qualified organization acknowledging your donation. Free federal tax forms The statement must contain the information and meet the tests for an acknowledgment described under Deductions of At Least $250 But Not More Than $500 under Records To Keep, later. Free federal tax forms Partial interest in property. Free federal tax forms   Generally, you cannot deduct a charitable contribution of less than your entire interest in property. Free federal tax forms Right to use property. Free federal tax forms   A contribution of the right to use property is a contribution of less than your entire interest in that property and is not deductible. Free federal tax forms For exceptions and more information, see Partial Interest in Property Not in Trust in Publication 561. Free federal tax forms Future interests in tangible personal property. Free federal tax forms   You cannot deduct the value of a charitable contribution of a future interest in tangible personal property until all intervening interests in and rights to the actual possession or enjoyment of the property have either expired or been turned over to someone other than yourself, a related person, or a related organization. Free federal tax forms Tangible personal property. Free federal tax forms   This is any property, other than land or buildings, that can be seen or touched. Free federal tax forms It includes furniture, books, jewelry, paintings, and cars. Free federal tax forms Future interest. Free federal tax forms   This is any interest that is to begin at some future time, regardless of whether it is designated as a future interest under state law. Free federal tax forms Determining Fair Market Value This section discusses general guidelines for determining the fair market value of various types of donated property. Free federal tax forms Publication 561 contains a more complete discussion. Free federal tax forms Fair market value is the price at which property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither having to buy or sell, and both having reasonable knowledge of all the relevant facts. Free federal tax forms Used clothing and household items. Free federal tax forms   The fair market value of used clothing and household goods is usually far less than what you paid for them when they were new. Free federal tax forms   For used clothing, you should claim as the value the price that buyers of used items actually pay in used clothing stores, such as consignment or thrift shops. Free federal tax forms See Household Goods in Publication 561 for information on the valuation of household goods, such as furniture, appliances, and linens. Free federal tax forms Example. Free federal tax forms Dawn Greene donated a coat to a thrift store operated by her church. Free federal tax forms She paid $300 for the coat 3 years ago. Free federal tax forms Similar coats in the thrift store sell for $50. Free federal tax forms The fair market value of the coat is $50. Free federal tax forms Dawn's donation is limited to $50. Free federal tax forms Cars, boats, and airplanes. Free federal tax forms   If you contribute a car, boat, or airplane to a charitable organization, you must determine its fair market value. Free federal tax forms Certain commercial firms and trade organizations publish used car pricing guides, commonly called “blue books,” containing complete dealer sale prices or dealer average prices for recent model years. Free federal tax forms The guides may be published monthly or seasonally and for different regions of the country. Free federal tax forms These guides also provide estimates for adjusting for unusual equipment, unusual mileage, and physical condition. Free federal tax forms The prices are not “official” and these publications are not considered an appraisal of any specific donated property. Free federal tax forms But they do provide clues for making an appraisal and suggest relative prices for comparison with current sales and offerings in your area. Free federal tax forms   You can also find used car pricing information on the Internet. Free federal tax forms Example. Free federal tax forms You donate a used car in poor condition to a local high school for use by students studying car repair. Free federal tax forms A used car guide shows the dealer retail value for this type of car in poor condition is $1,600. Free federal tax forms However, the guide shows the price for a private party sale of the car is only $750. Free federal tax forms The fair market value of the car is considered to be $750. Free federal tax forms Large quantities. Free federal tax forms   If you contribute a large number of the same item, fair market value is the price at which comparable numbers of the item are being sold. Free federal tax forms Giving Property That Has Decreased in Value If you contribute property with a fair market value that is less than your basis in it, your deduction is limited to its fair market value. Free federal tax forms You cannot claim a deduction for the difference between the property's basis and its fair market value. Free federal tax forms Giving Property That Has Increased in Value If you contribute property with a fair market value that is more than your basis in it, you may have to reduce the fair market value by the amount of appreciation (increase in value) when you figure your deduction. Free federal tax forms Your basis in property is generally what you paid for it. Free federal tax forms See chapter 13 if you need more information about basis. Free federal tax forms Different rules apply to figuring your deduction, depending on whether the property is: Ordinary income property, or Capital gain property. Free federal tax forms Ordinary income property. Free federal tax forms   Property is ordinary income property if you would have recognized ordinary income or short-term capital gain had you sold it at fair market value on the date it was contributed. Free federal tax forms Examples of ordinary income property are inventory, works of art created by the donor, manuscripts prepared by the donor, and capital assets (defined in chapter 14) held 1 year or less. Free federal tax forms Amount of deduction. Free federal tax forms   The amount you can deduct for a contribution of ordinary income property is its fair market value minus the amount that would be ordinary income or short-term capital gain if you sold the property for its fair market value. Free federal tax forms Generally, this rule limits the deduction to your basis in the property. Free federal tax forms Example. Free federal tax forms You donate stock you held for 5 months to your church. Free federal tax forms The fair market value of the stock on the day you donate it is $1,000, but you paid only $800 (your basis). Free federal tax forms Because the $200 of appreciation would be short-term capital gain if you sold the stock, your deduction is limited to $800 (fair market value minus the appreciation). Free federal tax forms Capital gain property. Free federal tax forms   Property is capital gain property if you would have recognized long-term capital gain had you sold it at fair market value on the date of the contribution. Free federal tax forms It includes capital assets held more than 1 year, as well as certain real property and depreciable property used in your trade or business and, generally, held more than 1 year. Free federal tax forms Amount of deduction — general rule. Free federal tax forms   When figuring your deduction for a contribution of capital gain property, you generally can use the fair market value of the property. Free federal tax forms Exceptions. Free federal tax forms   In certain situations, you must reduce the fair market value by any amount that would have been long-term capital gain if you had sold the property for its fair market value. Free federal tax forms Generally, this means reducing the fair market value to the property's cost or other basis. Free federal tax forms Bargain sales. Free federal tax forms   A bargain sale of property is a sale or exchange for less than the property's fair market value. Free federal tax forms A bargain sale to a qualified organization is partly a charitable contribution and partly a sale or exchange. Free federal tax forms A bargain sale may result in a taxable gain. Free federal tax forms More information. Free federal tax forms   For more information on donating appreciated property, see Giving Property That Has Increased in Value in Publication 526. Free federal tax forms When To Deduct You can deduct your contributions only in the year you actually make them in cash or other property (or in a later carryover year, as explained later under Carryovers ). Free federal tax forms This applies whether you use the cash or an accrual method of accounting. Free federal tax forms Time of making contribution. Free federal tax forms   Usually, you make a contribution at the time of its unconditional delivery. Free federal tax forms Checks. Free federal tax forms   A check you mail to a charity is considered delivered on the date you mail it. Free federal tax forms Text message. Free federal tax forms   Contributions made by text message are deductible in the year you send the text message if the contribution is charged to your telephone or wireless account. Free federal tax forms Credit card. Free federal tax forms    Contributions charged on your credit card are deductible in the year you make the charge. Free federal tax forms Pay-by-phone account. Free federal tax forms    Contributions made through a pay-by-phone account are considered delivered on the date the financial institution pays the amount. Free federal tax forms Stock certificate. Free federal tax forms   A properly endorsed stock certificate is considered delivered on the date of mailing or other delivery to the charity or to the charity's agent. Free federal tax forms However, if you give a stock certificate to your agent or to the issuing corporation for transfer to the name of the charity, your contribution is not delivered until the date the stock is transferred on the books of the corporation. Free federal tax forms Promissory note. Free federal tax forms   If you issue and deliver a promissory note to a charity as a contribution, it is not a contribution until you make the note payments. Free federal tax forms Option. Free federal tax forms    If you grant a charity an option to buy real property at a bargain price, it is not a contribution until the organization exercises the option. Free federal tax forms Borrowed funds. Free federal tax forms   If you contribute borrowed funds, you can deduct the contribution in the year you deliver the funds to the charity, regardless of when you repay the loan. Free federal tax forms Limits on Deductions The amount you can deduct for charitable contributions cannot be more than 50% of your adjusted gross income (AGI). Free federal tax forms Your deduction may be further limited to 30% or 20% of your AGI, depending on the type of property you give and the type of organization you give it to. Free federal tax forms If your total contributions for the year are 20% or less of your AGI, these limits do not apply to you. Free federal tax forms The limits are discussed in detail under Limits on Deductions in Publication 526. Free federal tax forms A higher limit applies to certain qualified conservation contributions. Free federal tax forms See Publication 526 for details. Free federal tax forms Carryovers You can carry over any contributions you cannot deduct in the current year because they exceed your adjusted-gross-income limits. Free federal tax forms You can deduct the excess in each of the next 5 years until it is used up, but not beyond that time. Free federal tax forms For more information, see Carryovers in Publication 526. Free federal tax forms Records To Keep You must keep records to prove the amount of the contributions you make during the year. Free federal tax forms The kind of records you must keep depends on the amount of your contributions and whether they are: Cash contributions, Noncash contributions, or Out-of-pocket expenses when donating your services. Free federal tax forms Note. Free federal tax forms An organization generally must give you a written statement if it receives a payment from you that is more than $75 and is partly a contribution and partly for goods or services. Free federal tax forms (See Contributions From Which You Benefit under Contributions You Can Deduct, earlier. Free federal tax forms ) Keep the statement for your records. Free federal tax forms It may satisfy all or part of the recordkeeping requirements explained in the following discussions. Free federal tax forms Cash Contributions Cash contributions include those paid by cash, check, electronic funds transfer, debit card, credit card, or payroll deduction. Free federal tax forms You cannot deduct a cash contribution, regardless of the amount, unless you keep one of the following. Free federal tax forms A bank record that shows the name of the qualified organization, the date of the contribution, and the amount of the contribution. Free federal tax forms Bank records may include: A canceled check, A bank or credit union statement, or A credit card statement. Free federal tax forms A receipt (or a letter or other written communication) from the qualified organization showing the name of the organization, the date of the contribution, and the amount of the contribution. Free federal tax forms The payroll deduction records described next. Free federal tax forms Payroll deductions. Free federal tax forms   If you make a contribution by payroll deduction, you must keep: A pay stub, Form W-2, or other document furnished by your employer that shows the date and amount of the contribution, and A pledge card or other document prepared by or for the qualified organization that shows the name of the organization. Free federal tax forms If your employer withheld $250 or more from a single paycheck, see Contributions of $250 or More , next. Free federal tax forms Contributions of $250 or More You can claim a deduction for a contribution of $250 or more only if you have an acknowledgment of your contribution from the qualified organization or certain payroll deduction records. Free federal tax forms If you made more than one contribution of $250 or more, you must have either a separate acknowledgment for each or one acknowledgment that lists each contribution and the date of each contribution and shows your total contributions. Free federal tax forms Amount of contribution. Free federal tax forms   In figuring whether your contribution is $250 or more, do not combine separate contributions. Free federal tax forms For example, if you gave your church $25 each week, your weekly payments do not have to be combined. Free federal tax forms Each payment is a separate contribution. Free federal tax forms   If contributions are made by payroll deduction, the deduction from each paycheck is treated as a separate contribution. Free federal tax forms   If you made a payment that is partly for goods and services, as described earlier under Contributions From Which You Benefit , your contribution is the amount of the payment that is more than the value of the goods and services. Free federal tax forms Acknowledgment. Free federal tax forms   The acknowledgment must meet these tests. Free federal tax forms It must be written. Free federal tax forms It must include: The amount of cash you contributed, Whether the qualified organization gave you any goods or services as a result of your contribution (other than certain token items and membership benefits), A description and good faith estimate of the value of any goods or services described in (b) (other than intangible religious benefits), and A statement that the only benefit you received was an intangible religious benefit, if that was the case. Free federal tax forms The acknowledgment does not need to describe or estimate the value of an intangible religious benefit. Free federal tax forms An intangible religious benefit is a benefit that generally is not sold in commercial transactions outside a donative (gift) context. Free federal tax forms An example is admission to a religious ceremony. Free federal tax forms You must get it on or before the earlier of: The date you file your return for the year you make the contribution, or The due date, including extensions, for filing the return. Free federal tax forms   If the acknowledgment does not show the date of the contribution, you must also have a bank record or receipt, as described earlier, that does show the date of the contribution. Free federal tax forms If the acknowledgment shows the date of the contribution and meets the other tests just described, you do not need any other records. Free federal tax forms Payroll deductions. Free federal tax forms   If you make a contribution by payroll deduction and your employer withholds $250 or more from a single paycheck, you must keep: A pay stub, Form W-2, or other document furnished by your employer that shows the amount withheld as a contribution, and A pledge card or other document prepared by or for the qualified organization that shows the name of the organization and states the organization does not provide goods or services in return for any contribution made to it by payroll deduction. Free federal tax forms A single pledge card may be kept for all contributions made by payroll deduction regardless of amount as long as it contains all the required information. Free federal tax forms   If the pay stub, Form W-2, pledge card, or other document does not show the date of the contribution, you must have another document that does show the date of the contribution. Free federal tax forms If the pay stub, Form W-2, pledge card, or other document shows the date of the contribution, you do not need any other records except those just described in (1) and (2). Free federal tax forms Noncash Contributions For a contribution not made in cash, the records you must keep depend on whether your deduction for the contribution is: Less than $250, At least $250 but not more than $500, Over $500 but not more than $5,000, or Over $5,000. Free federal tax forms Amount of deduction. Free federal tax forms   In figuring whether your deduction is $500 or more, combine your claimed deductions for all similar items of property donated to any charitable organization during the year. Free federal tax forms   If you received goods or services in return, as described earlier in Contributions From Which You Benefit , reduce your contribution by the value of those goods or services. Free federal tax forms If you figure your deduction by reducing the fair market value of the donated property by its appreciation, as described earlier in Giving Property That Has Increased in Value , your contribution is the reduced amount. Free federal tax forms Deductions of Less Than $250 If you make any noncash contribution, you must get and keep a receipt from the charitable organization showing: The name of the charitable organization, The date and location of the charitable contribution, and A reasonably detailed description of the property. Free federal tax forms A letter or other written communication from the charitable organization acknowledging receipt of the contribution and containing the information in (1), (2), and (3) will serve as a receipt. Free federal tax forms You are not required to have a receipt where it is impractical to get one (for example, if you leave property at a charity's unattended drop site). Free federal tax forms Additional records. Free federal tax forms   You must also keep reliable written records for each item of contributed property. Free federal tax forms Your written records must include the following information. Free federal tax forms The name and address of the organization to which you contributed. Free federal tax forms The date and location of the contribution. Free federal tax forms A description of the property in detail reasonable under the circumstances. Free federal tax forms For a security, keep the name of the issuer, the type of security, and whether it is regularly traded on a stock exchange or in an over-the-counter market. Free federal tax forms The fair market value of the property at the time of the contribution and how you figured the fair market value. Free federal tax forms If it was determined by appraisal, keep a signed copy of the appraisal. Free federal tax forms The cost or other basis of the property, if you must reduce its fair market value by appreciation. Free federal tax forms Your records should also include the amount of the reduction and how you figured it. Free federal tax forms The amount you claim as a deduction for the tax year as a result of the contribution, if you contribute less than your entire interest in the property during the tax year. Free federal tax forms Your records must include the amount you claimed as a deduction in any earlier years for contributions of other interests in this property. Free federal tax forms They must also include the name and address of each organization to which you contributed the other interests, the place where any such tangible property is located or kept, and the name of any person in possession of the property, other than the organization to which you contributed it. Free federal tax forms The terms of any conditions attached to the contribution of property. Free federal tax forms Deductions of At Least $250 But Not More Than $500 If you claim a deduction of at least $250 but not more than $500 for a noncash charitable contribution, you must get and keep an acknowledgment of your contribution from the qualified organization. Free federal tax forms If you made more than one contribution of $250 or more, you must have either a separate acknowledgment for each or one acknowledgment that shows your total contributions. Free federal tax forms The acknowledgment must contain the information in items (1) through (3) under Deductions of Less Than $250 , earlier, and your written records must include the information listed in that discussion under Additional records . Free federal tax forms The acknowledgment must also meet these tests. Free federal tax forms It must be written. Free federal tax forms It must include: A description (but not necessarily the value) of any property you contributed, Whether the qualified organization gave you any goods or services as a result of your contribution (other than certain token items and membership benefits), and A description and good faith estimate of the value of any goods or services described in (b). Free federal tax forms If the only benefit you received was an intangible religious benefit (such as admission to a religious ceremony) that generally is not sold in a commercial transaction outside the donative context, the acknowledgment must say so and does not need to describe or estimate the value of the benefit. Free federal tax forms You must get it on or before the earlier of: The date you file your return for the year you make the contribution, or The due date, including extensions, for filing the return. Free federal tax forms Deductions Over $500 You are required to give additional information if you claim a deduction over $500 for noncash charitable contributions. Free federal tax forms See Records To Keep in Publication 526 for more information. Free federal tax forms Out-of-Pocket Expenses If you give services to a qualified organization and have unreimbursed out-of-pocket expenses related to those services, the following two rules apply. Free federal tax forms You must have adequate records to prove the amount of the expenses. Free federal tax forms If any of your unreimbursed out-of-pocket expenses, considered separately, are $250 or more (for example, you pay $250 or more for an airline ticket to attend a convention of a qualified organization as a chosen representative), you must get an acknowledgment from the qualified organization that contains: A description of the services you provided, A statement of whether or not the organization provided you any goods or services to reimburse you for the expenses you incurred, A description and a good faith estimate of the value of any goods or services (other than intangible religious benefits) provided to reimburse you, and A statement that the only benefit you received was an intangible religious benefit, if that was the case. Free federal tax forms The acknowledgment does not need to describe or estimate the value of an intangible religious benefit (defined earlier under Acknowledgment ). Free federal tax forms You must get the acknowledgment on or before the earlier of: The date you file your return for the year you make the contribution, or The due date, including extensions, for filing the return. Free federal tax forms Car expenses. Free federal tax forms   If you claim expenses directly related to use of your car in giving services to a qualified organization, you must keep reliable written records of your expenses. Free federal tax forms Whether your records are considered reliable depends on all the facts and circumstances. Free federal tax forms Generally, they may be considered reliable if you made them regularly and at or near the time you had the expenses. Free federal tax forms   For example, your records might show the name of the organization you were serving and the dates you used your car for a charitable purpose. Free federal tax forms If you use the standard mileage rate of 14 cents a mile, your records must show the miles you drove your car for the charitable purpose. Free federal tax forms If you deduct your actual expenses, your records must show the costs of operating the car that are directly related to a charitable purpose. Free federal tax forms   See Car expenses under Out-of-Pocket Expenses in Giving Services, earlier, for the expenses you can deduct. Free federal tax forms How To Report Report your charitable contributions on Schedule A (Form 1040). Free federal tax forms If your total deduction for all noncash contributions for the year is over $500, you must also file Form 8283. Free federal tax forms See How To Report in Publication 526 for more information. Free federal tax forms Prev  Up  Next   Home   More Online Publications