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If I make a charitable donation on a rewards credit card, can I still claim that on my taxes? I thought one of the guidelines was that you do not receive anything in return, but in the case of a rewards card, I will be receiving x% of the donation.

TIA

dt
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If I understand the situation, you're not going to receive anything back FROM THE CHARITY; rather, you'll get a rebate on your credit card, from the card issuer. That's a separate transaction. If the amount is big enough, the charity should give you an acknowledgment, to the effect that "no goods or services were received in exchange for this contribution", and from their end, that will be perfectly correct.

Bill


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If I understand the situation, you're not going to receive anything back FROM THE CHARITY; rather, you'll get a rebate on your credit card, from the card issuer. That's a separate transaction. If the amount is big enough, the charity should give you an acknowledgment, to the effect that "no goods or services were received in exchange for this contribution", and from their end, that will be perfectly correct.

Ahh, that makes sense. I thought if I received anything from anyone as a result of a charitable donation that it would not be permitted as a deduction.

Thank you for the clarification.

dt
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I thought if I received anything from anyone as a result of a charitable donation that it would not be permitted as a deduction.

Actually, even if you do receive something substantial back from the 501(c)(3) organization, you can still declare the amount of contribution minus the fair market value of that something on Schedule A. Hopefully the 501(c)(3) organization would send you an acknowledgement in that case and show the amount of contribution and the FMV of the goods or services you received in return. (Example, you attend our Foundation's Moonlight and Roses event, paid $200/person, and received a $50 meal. You would be able to deduct $150. You placed a winning bid of $12,000 on the weekend private island getaway and the island normally rents for $7,000, so you can declare $5,000 on Schedule A if the Foundation supplies you with the appropriate acknowledgement, which the Foundation normally tries to do. I sign up for monthly payroll deduction for $100/mo, $1,200 for the year, and receive a pen with the Foundation logo, a "gift of no substantial value", and I can deduct the whole $1,200. I send a check to Oregon Public Broadcasting and then receive the monthly newsletter/TV/Radio guide, and I can deduct the full amount of the check I had sent to OPB. But if I watched the Peter, Paul & Mary Christmas Special and decide to contribute $100 to receive the CD, if the CD had a fair market value of $20 I would be able to deduct only $80.)
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>>>Ahh, that makes sense. I thought if I received anything from anyone as a result of a charitable donation that it would not be permitted as a deduction.<<<

You're not receiving anything from anyone, you're just paying less. I suppose that if you give $100 to a charity on a 1% Rewards card, you could claim, on your taxes, just the net expense of $99 and sleep ever-so-slightly better at night.

When we cut a coupon out of the paper to save a dollar on soap, we don't declare that as a dollar of income. It isn't. It's just a dollar reduction in price.

Doug
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You're not receiving anything from anyone, you're just paying less. I suppose that if you give $100 to a charity on a 1% Rewards card, you could claim, on your taxes, just the net expense of $99 and sleep ever-so-slightly better at night.

Well, I signed up to donate $100/month for 12 months, which will be auto-billed to my rewards card. Even if I weren't able to claim anything, this was a worthy cause.

Thanks to everyone for all of the feedback.

dt
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