The tax code doesn’t allow a charitable contribution deductions for gifts made for a specific individual.  This is true even when a qualified charity collects the donation for the individual.  Donations made directly to a member of the clergy to be used for their own purposes are also not deductible.  Sadly, this restriction also extends to the payment of medical or other expenses for a needy individual.

Whether or not a contribution is deductible shouldn’t be the last work in whether or not to make a contribution.  Keep in mind that a portion of most donations made to charitable organizations has to be spent on overhead.  When a donation is made directly to someone in need presumably 100% of the donation amount goes to helping them.  That means you can  often do as much good with a non-deductible contribution to an individual as you could with a gift to a church or non-profit group.  Just don’t make the mistake of deducting it on your taxes.

The person who inspired this post is Wynter Przybylski, the 7-year-old daughter of a high school friends and the subject of a recent Bangor Daily News article.  Wynter is battling childhood leukemia and the Pryzbylski’s have a page up seeking donations to help with her care.  I’ve included a couple of links about Wynter’s story below.  The donations they receive for this are not tax-deductible, but can do a lot of good!


photo credit: N08/6510934443/”>asenat29 via photopin cc

Published by Albert E. Bergen, CPA

Albert E. Bergen, CPA is a certified public accountant from Auburn, Maine. He provides income tax and financial services to clients in Lewiston, Auburn, and throughout Maine. He expects to receive his MBA from the University of Southern Maine in 2014 and holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from the University of Maine.

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