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DW and I are involved with a dog rescue organization which we donate to as well as help out with actually doing things. Today, DW is driving a few hours (each way) to pick up 3 dogs from a place that is giving them up. I know that I can deduct mileage and tolls, so I will be doing that. However, I had to buy some supplies so that she could safely transport these pups (leashes, collars, travel crates). These items will go with the dogs when we hand them off to other foster homes and/or adoptive families, so we personally will get no use from them. Can I deduct the $80 or so I spent on this stuff? Its not a huge amount, but it will add up over time as we do more of this. If we cannot deduct this, I could have the organization reimburse me and then cut them a donation check for roughly the same amount, as I do not intend to have them put any cash out for this. Will the IRS be kosher with this, or am I asking for trouble?

BTW, the organization is a 501c3.
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I had to buy some supplies so that she could safely transport these pups (leashes, collars, travel crates).

IMO that constitutes an allowable out-of-pocket charitable expense.

Phil
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Yep, you can deduct what you pay for supplies and equipment that you donate to a 501c3 organization. I'd keep your receipts with your tax records, with a note about the donation, and if the charity gives you a letter acknowledging your donation, keep that as well. (You only need a written acknowledgement if the non-cash donation is more than $250, but many charities will acknowledge smaller gifts.)
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You also need receipts from charities for cash donations over $250.

Debra
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You also need receipts from charities for cash donations over $250.


but that's 250 per contribution, not necessarily total. so if the contributions occur at different times, then u don't have to consolidate them. just keep the records to confirm they are distinct.
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