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Can I Deduct This?

With the personal tax deadline on the horizon, HORNE's health care financial and tax team is working hard to ensure that accurate and timely returns are being filed for our clients. During this busy time of year, the number one question we hear is, "Did I get a refund?", and following close behind  is, "Can I deduct this?".

With the multiple Super (and not so super) Tuesday primaries and local election campaigns, we feel it is important to remind our clients that political deductions are NOT tax deductible. Donations to "Friends of <insert your favorite politician's name here>" cannot be taken as a deduction on a tax return.

However, some political organizations have names that are not so easily identified as political, and could be confused as charitable. On the other hand, many charitable organizations have names that are not readily recognized either. How can you know for sure if your donation is tax deductible? The IRS has just launched a new online search tool, enabling individuals to easily check to see if an organization is tax exempt AND if donations to this organization are tax deductible. This website will be available year round. However, it is especially useful during this time of year.

If you are curious about the deductibility of your donations, go to: http://apps.irs.gov/app/eos/ and check the box indicating that you want to search for organizations that are "eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions." Enter the name of the organization and click "search." To narrow the search, enter the city or state of the organization. Once the organization has been located, the deductibility status is listed on the right. If you are having trouble locating an organization, be sure to check out the "search tips" at the bottom of the application.

If you have any questions about the deductibility of your donations, contact HORNE Partner Marsha Dieckman, CPA, at marsha.dieckman@hornellp.com, or Manager Amie Whittington, CPA, at amie.whittington@hornellp.com.