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Can You Write Off a Political Donation?

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Every election year you can depend on two things: a lot of nasty rhetoric, and a flood of emails, texts and robocalls asking for political donations. You can’t do much about the former, but you can control the latter — either by ignoring the pitches or donating your time or money.

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If you choose the latter, you might wonder if political donations are tax deductible. The answer is easy: they aren’t. You cannot write off political donations regardless of whether you give your money, time or effort.

According to Intuit TurboTax, the IRS is “very clear that money contributed to a politician or political party can’t be deducted from your taxes.” That rule applies to donations to any of the following:

You also can’t write off donations to groups that lobby for law changes, civic leagues or labor unions. If you checked the box on your Form 1040 asking if you want to give $3 to the Presidential Election Campaign Fund, this will not affect your taxes or deductions.

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The same rules apply to both individuals and businesses. If you are unsure whether a particular organization qualifies as a legitimate charity, visit the IRS’s Tax-Exempt Organization Search Tool.

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Here are examples of organizations that you can deduct charitable contributions to:

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