Are all donations to charity tax-deductible?

Not all donations to charity are tax-deductible. In order for charitable donations to be tax-deductible, a taxpayer must itemize the deductions on his tax return.

As of 2015, up to 50 percent of adjusted gross income may be deducted, with some limitations. Amounts donated above this limit are not tax-deductible. Only donations made to qualified organizations under the Internal Revenue Service code are tax-deductible.

The United States, U.S. possessions, the District of Columbia and U.S. states are considered qualified organizations if the donation is for public purposes. Community chests, funds or trusts operated for charitable religious, scientific or educational purposes, and funds for the prevention of cruelty to animals or children are qualified organizations, as are churches, synagogues and other religious organizations. Veterans' organizations, volunteer fire departments and some non-profit cemeteries also qualify.

Cash donations require a check with the charity's name on it. Donations of property or non-cash items can be deducted based on their fair market values. Cars are deducted based on the amount they bring at auction. Charities issue a form stating the sale price.

For items valued over $5000, an appraisal is required. Expenses incurred while performing charity work are deductible as well. These include transportation expenses and supplies purchased for the work.

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