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Author: fleg9bo Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 121144  
Subject: Charitable deduction question Date: 7/30/2010 6:42 PM
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I just read Pub 526 and didn't find a clear-cut answer. What about deducting a contribution to the Nature Conservancy, for which you get a magazine? To me the value of the mag is zero--it's a collection of pretty pictures and updates on the projects of the group and some propaganda about global warming--nothing I'd ever consider paying for. But maybe we're supposed to assign some value to it and reduce our deduction by that amount. I dunno for sure but I'd guess that we can deduct the full amount. Right?

--fleg, glad to have learned the rules for donating taxidermy items during his research
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Author: irasmilo Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 110773 of 121144
Subject: Re: Charitable deduction question Date: 7/30/2010 8:56 PM
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I just read Pub 526 and didn't find a clear-cut answer. What about deducting a contribution to the Nature Conservancy, for which you get a magazine? To me the value of the mag is zero--it's a collection of pretty pictures and updates on the projects of the group and some propaganda about global warming--nothing I'd ever consider paying for. But maybe we're supposed to assign some value to it and reduce our deduction by that amount. I dunno for sure but I'd guess that we can deduct the full amount. Right?

I doubt that the value of the magazine is $0. The Nature Conservancy probably establishes a value which should be communicated in their solicitations. You don't get to put the value on the subscription. Any amount you contribute above the subscription value is a deductible contribution.

Ira

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Author: 0x6a74 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 110775 of 121144
Subject: Re: Charitable deduction question Date: 7/31/2010 2:19 AM
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But maybe we're supposed to assign some value to it and reduce our deduction by that amount. I dunno for sure but I'd guess that we can deduct the full amount. Right?
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I doubt that the value of the magazine is $0. The Nature Conservancy probably establishes a value which should be communicated in their solicitations. You don't get to put the value on the subscription.



don't know the Law ..

maybe NC *should* assign a value but i'm pretty sure they don't .

i know some of the charities i deal with have 'prizes' and assign a value ( which decreases the deduction )

most don't.

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Author: foo1bar Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 110776 of 121144
Subject: Re: Charitable deduction question Date: 7/31/2010 3:09 AM
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What about deducting a contribution to the Nature Conservancy, for which you get a magazine? To me the value of the mag is zero

Apparently you can tell them not to send you the magazine:
http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.comment...

You'd think they'd want to make it easy for you to tell how much the magazine is worth so that you could report it correctly to the IRS but I couldn't turn that up in the Googling I did.

Perhaps they don't want to publish the info so that people can claim $0 and the IRS doesn't have any value to use against their donors saying its worth that amount.
Or perhaps they'll give anyone/everyone a free mag just for asking (in which case arguably it is a $0 benefit)

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Author: fleg9bo Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 110777 of 121144
Subject: Re: Charitable deduction question Date: 7/31/2010 11:15 AM
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You'd think they'd want to make it easy for you to tell how much the magazine is worth so that you could report it correctly to the IRS but I couldn't turn that up in the Googling I did.

I'm going to call them on Monday. I'll report back on the worth of the magazine.

--fleg

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Author: Wradical Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 110778 of 121144
Subject: Re: Charitable deduction question Date: 7/31/2010 12:50 PM
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That's like some charitable organizations have membership dues, which are deductible if you don't get any financial or tangible benefit.

And then there's the Smithsonian Institution and National Geographic Society, where the "dues" are like $20, and that includes the magazine. Other "members' benefits" include things like discounts on other books or things you might buy.

I'm not 100% sure , but I don't recall seeing a thing that said that the "dues" were not deductible. And it IS possible to make a deductible contribution to those organizations, but I doubt it's good at the basic level.

Similarly, my school's alumni association has different levels of membership. Above the basic level, you get a deduction - reduced for the goodies they give you, of course. (Things like the newest school t-shirt and bumper sticker.)

Bill

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Author: fleg9bo Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 110779 of 121144
Subject: Re: Charitable deduction question Date: 7/31/2010 1:11 PM
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That's like some charitable organizations have membership dues, which are deductible if you don't get any financial or tangible benefit.

And then there's the Smithsonian Institution and National Geographic Society, where the "dues" are like $20, and that includes the magazine.


Those magazines are real ones with purchase prices on them and which are available for purchase by the public. The Nature Conservancy magazine does not have a purchase price on it and is more like a report on the organization's activities than a magazine. Just as you might see a photo of XYZ Corporation's new branch office in Peoria in its annual report to shareholders, you see photos of places the Nature Conservancy is managing in its magazine which is sent to donors. I certainly don't experience any financial or tangible benefit from getting it, but maybe the IRS sees things differently.

--fleg

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Author: vkg Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 110787 of 121144
Subject: Re: Charitable deduction question Date: 8/1/2010 5:49 PM
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Most organizations allow declining of gifts, which allows the entire donation to be deductible.

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Author: 0x6a74 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 110788 of 121144
Subject: Re: Charitable deduction question Date: 8/1/2010 6:14 PM
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Most organizations allow declining of gifts, which allows the entire donation to be deductible.




but most i've seen don't say anything about partial-deduction.

they say something like <no prize means more money to do our good works>


...really curious what the law says.


i always take full deduction ,sometimes take the prize

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Author: vkg Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 110789 of 121144
Subject: Re: Charitable deduction question Date: 8/1/2010 7:22 PM
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but most i've seen don't say anything about partial-deduction.

they say something like <no prize means more money to do our good works>


...really curious what the law says.


i always take full deduction ,sometimes take the prize


We must be dealing with different organizations. Except for a university, which requests donations for the alumni magazine but mails it to everyone at no cost, the confirmation for the donations states a value for "donation gifts".

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Author: 0x6a74 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 110831 of 121144
Subject: Re: Charitable deduction question Date: 8/6/2010 6:00 PM
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i always take full deduction ,sometimes take the prize

We must be dealing with different organizations.


or ,i haven't been reading carefully ..

today rec'd a thing from Habitat for Humanity , it came with address labels and (surprisingly nice) greeting cards

and the promise of Teddy Bear with a donation over $20 ..

found THIS buried in the fine print, "Your donation is tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law [huh?] except for $7.05 ,the fair market value of teddy bear..."


... will have ot read more carefully in future.

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Author: irasmilo Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 110832 of 121144
Subject: Re: Charitable deduction question Date: 8/7/2010 10:03 AM
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found THIS buried in the fine print, "Your donation is tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law [huh?] except for $7.05 ,the fair market value of teddy bear..."

"Fullest extent of the law" refers to three issues: First, you can only deduct charitable contributions if you itemize your deductions. Second, your deduction for charitable contributions is limited to 20%, 30% or 50% of your AGI depending on what you've donated and what type of charity receives the donation. And finally, you can't deduct the contribution if it's a Qualified Charitable Distribution from an IRA. (The provision for QCDs expired at the end of 2009.)

Ira

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Author: 0x6a74 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 110834 of 121144
Subject: Re: Charitable deduction question Date: 8/7/2010 2:51 PM
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"Fullest extent of the law" refers to three issues:



ah ....thank you.

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