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Charitable contributions to 501(c)(4) civic league non-profits are not deductible for tax purposes.

March 16, 2016

We have a growing number of clients who are donating to non-profit civic league activities and expect to be able to take such contributions as a tax deduction on their returns. These civic activities are typically the non-profit branch of an affiliated political lobbying activity and as such must organize themselves as a 501(c)(4) non-profit.

The tax code makes it clear that contributions to 501(c)(4) activities are not deductible for federal tax purposes, but may be taken as a business expense for those businesses whose expenditures of this type are ordinary and necessary. 501(c)(4) activities are required to disclose this fact on any solicitation for donations.

As a side note, contributions made directly to any political lobby activity are likewise not deductible for tax purposes.

It is the taxpayer’s responsibility to be aware of these rules and ensure that they do not try to claim unqualified charitable contributions as tax deductions. Read more about this topic on the IRS website here.


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