Categories: Tax Savings

Are Donations To Political Campaigns Tax Deductible?

Do We Give to Get?

Let`s explore the following question, Are donations that we make to political campaigns tax deductible? Do We Give to Get?

When preparation for elections starts, you might search for campaign to donate. A question arise, are political contributions tax deductible?

When the election procedures starts, you might have feeling that campaigns, candidates and the elections are everywhere around us.  If you decided to donate money, or time or effort to political campaign, you might wonder whether political contributions that you make are tax deductible?

The answer is simple, No. The IRS tells clear that all money or effort, time contributions to political campaigns are not tax deductible.

Below we provide a list that IRS says is not tax deductible.  If you have made any contributions, that amount will not be deducted from your taxes:

A political party

  • A campaign committee
  • A newsletter fund
  • Advertisements in convention bulletins
  • Admission to dinners or programs that benefit a political party or political candidate
  • Political Action Committees (PACs)

You may think, are political contributions tax deductible for your business?

Answer is no. Your business can’t deduct political contributions, donations, or payments on your tax return.

But I thought donations were tax-deductible?

You may be confused due to the fact, that if you make charitable donations, then they are tax deductible. But any donations made to political campaigns are not.

If you are unsure that the organization you are about to donate to, the IRS provides a tax-exempt organization search tool that you can use.

What can encourage people make donations, if they are not tax deductible?

Americans donations to political campaigns are less that 10%. Mostly rich people give large donations and small minority contribute 200$ or less. These donations are not tax deductible on federal returns.

Some states provide tax incentives for political donations.  The Brennan Center for Justice control and track these tax incentives and give recommend small donor tax credit system.

Let`s consider some cases. In state Arkansas, if you have made a cash donation to an Political Action Committee or other political party in the state, you will be given nonrefundable individual income tax credit up to $50.

In Ohio, if you have made contributions to elections, you can receive a nonrefundable credit. For example, in 2006, more than half of all donors had annual income less than $75,000.

In Oregon, similar nonrefundable credit can be claimed if you made donations to candidates or political parties for state.

In Montana, you receive deduction of your taxable income up to $100 for donations to federal, state or local candidates.

Tax dollars as donations?

In 2015, voters from Washington approved a 10-year property tax increase. Consequently that would generate $3 million annually to fund “Democracy Vouchers”.  Those residents aged 18 and older in every city get $25 vouchers for contributing to local candidates` campaigns.  As a result, in 2016 the number of donors reached 18 000. Considering that half million of residents received vouchers and great majority did not use them.  Beside that half of the $2 million of program expenses covered some administrative costs.

 Obviously that tax policy is not pushing factor for political participation.  In some states, tax breaks can increase both the number of candidates and their small sponsors. The catch for their wider appeal may be that states need to do more so that people know about and use tax breaks.

Tax Deductible Expenses

IRS has grouped several deductions under five categories. Those categories are:

  1. Work-related deductions: home office costs, business entertainment expenses and employee business expenses are included to this deduction.
  2. Itemized deductions: charitable contributions are considered as Itemized deductions.
  3. Education deductions: if you are student or have a student loan, then you might have education deductions. Additionally, work related educational expenses and teacher educational expenses are also deductible.
  4. Healthcare deductions: medical and dental expenses and health savings accounts are considered as healthcare deductions.
  5. Investment-related deductions: if you lose money on bad debt, some parts of these deficits might be tax-deductible.



Olivia Chloe

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