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If you don't owe any tax and you make a charitable donation, can you carry forward the deduction to future years when you might have income it could offset?

--fleg
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Good question. I hope someone knows that answer.
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You cannot arbitrarily choose to carry forward charitable deductions. They are deductible only in the year of contribution.

The carryover provision is for the situation when your contributions are greater than the allowed limitation (20%, 30% or 50% of AGI, depending on the type of contribution and the recipient organization).

--Peter
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You cannot arbitrarily choose to carry forward charitable deductions. They are deductible only in the year of contribution.

The carryover provision is for the situation when your contributions are greater than the allowed limitation (20%, 30% or 50% of AGI, depending on the type of contribution and the recipient organization).


Returning to the original question, this means that it is possible to carry forward a charitable contribution in a year where you owe no tax, but only if you itemized deductions in the year the contribution was made and you had contributions in excess of the appropriate limitation. The carryforward is not automatically available to you just because you didn't deduct the contribution earlier.

Ira
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Shucks, I was hoping for a different answer. I'm sure that there have been a number of years that I did not itemize deductions that I would like to carry forward to a year that I could really use the deduction.
;-)
Actually I posted to note that it appears that fleg9bo, irasmilo, and I share the same balloon day.

Bob
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