Deducting Charitable Contributions

In order to deduct charitable contributions, the charitable organization must be created or organized in the US (including the states, District of Columbia and possessions of the US) or must be provided by a treaty (side note – have you ever tried to read a treaty?  Not fun!).  Many generous people want to give for causes around the world and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.  It is commendable!  However, in order for charitable contributions to be tax deductible, you need to give it to a bona fide US charitable organization which can direct the funds to those in need around the world.  Some think that Catholic churches located in other countries would qualify because they are arms of the Roman Catholic Church, a universal organization.  Tax courts have repeatedly rejected this argument. 

 Also beware of giving money to an individual or earmarking a donation for a specific individual.  You cannot give money to your church or other charity to give to a specific family in need. While it is a charitable act, it is not tax deductible.

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