Can You Deduct Charitable Contributions as a Business Expense?


When a family child care provider makes a donation to her church, synagogue, or mosque she can claim this as a charitable deduction on IRS Form 1040 Schedule A Itemized Deductions. Likewise, with contributions of used clothing, toys, furniture, etc. to charitable organizations such as the Red Cross, Goodwill or the Salvation Army,

Charitable contributions are not, however, deductible as business expenses.

If you buy an ad in a newsletter or a special event program for a charitable organization you can deduct this as a business advertising expense. The same goes for paying money to sponsor a baseball or soccer team. In fact, any advertising for your business is deductible, whether or not the organization is a charity.

If you buy candy, stationery or other stuff from school fundraisers you cannot deduct this as a charitable contribution because you are receiving items rather than making a cash donation.

Some family child care providers donate money to help a family in need through a go-fund-me type of program. The family may have medical bills or suffered through a fire or flood, and friends and neighbors give money to help out. Since the family is not a recognized charitable organizations, donations to help such families are not a personal or business deduction.

Tis the season for giving. Don’t let the fact that you can’t get a business deduction for donations to charities and those in need stop you from helping others!

Tom Copeland –

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Categories: Deductions, Record Keeping & Taxes

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