Deduction Limits on Contributions to Charities
If you made a tax-deductible contribution to a qualified charitable organization, the actual amount you can deduct may be limited to a percentage of your adjusted gross income. The amount that you are entitled to deduct depends on several factors:
- Who you made a contribution to
- What you contributed
- Your income
The 50% Limit
In general, your charitable deduction cannot be more than half of your adjusted gross income. Contributions made to qualified organizations are subject to the 50% limit. These types of organizations include:
- Indian tribal governments
- The United States, District of Columbia, or any state or political subdivision of the U.S.
- Educational organizations with a full student body and faculty on site
- Hospitals and research centers
Different rules may apply to contributions of capital gains property (property that would bring long-term income).
The 30% Limit
Your charitable deduction cannot be more than 30% of your adjusted gross income. Contributions subject to the 30% limit include:
- Contributions of capital gains property to any 50% limit organizations (generally)
- Money spent on behalf of a student living with you who was selected by a qualified organization
- Gifts to other qualified organizations besides those subject to the 50% limit
- Gifts other than those that are capital gain property for the use of any organization
The 20% Limit
For some contributions, your deductions cannot be more than 20% of your adjusted gross income. Contributions subject to the 20% limit are all those that are capital gains property gifts to or for the use of a charitable organization, aside from those that fall under the 50% limit.
Note: If you contribute 20% or less of your adjusted gross income, there are no limits to the deduction for your total contributions.
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