Are Your Political Campaign Contributions Tax Deductible?

In addition to showing your support by voting in the 2020 election, you may have also chosen to make a financial contribution to your political candidate of choice during their campaign. If you’re wondering what your contributions to a political campaign, party, or cause mean for your taxes, you’re not alone — here’s what you need to know.

Are Political Donations Tax Deductible?

Though giving money to your candidate of choice is a great way to get involved in civic discourse, donations to political candidates are not tax-deductible. According to the IRS: “You can’t deduct contributions to organizations that aren’t qualified to receive tax-deductible contributions, including political organizations and candidates.” This includes Political Action Committees (PACs) as well. 

Is Supporting the Presidential Election Campaign Fund Tax Deductible?

You can set aside $3 of your taxes to go to the Presidential Election Campaign Fund on your Form 1040 federal income tax return if you desire. If you want to support this process by checking the box, understand that it does not affect your taxes or deductions.

Are Political Contributions Tax Deductible for Businesses?

No, businesses can’t deduct political contributions, donations, or payments on their tax return.

If I Volunteer for a Political Campaign, Can I Deduct My Expenses?

No. If you volunteer for a political candidate, political campaign, political action committee (PAC), or any group that seeks to influence legislation, the time you donate associated with that work is not a tax-deductible expense.

What are the Political Contribution Limits?

If you still want to financially support a candidate or party, here are a few things to keep in mind when you make your contributions. According to the Federal Election Commission, an individual may donate:

  • up to $2,800 per candidate per election
  • up to $10,000 to state, district, and local parties combined each year
  • up to $106,500 to a national political party, per account, per year

Additionally, individual donations to issues-orientated political action committees (PACs) are capped at $5,000 per year.

What Donations Are Tax Deductible?

You must give to a registered non-profit organization (not individual) which operates as a true charity to take a tax deduction for the donation.

If you volunteer, give cash or non-cash items to a 501(c)(3) organization, your donation may be a qualified tax-deductible charitable contribution. You can confirm whether the organization you are going to make a donation to is a 501(c)(3) organization using the Tax-Exempt Organization Search Tool from the IRS.

For more information on what charitable donations are tax-deductible, who can deduct a charitable donation and donating cash vs donating items, read our charitable giving and your taxes blog post.

TurboTax Has You Covered

Be sure to keep checking back here for updated information and tips on how to maximize your tax refund with tax deductions and tax credits that you may be able to qualify for, but don’t worry about knowing these tax rules.

TurboTax asks you simple questions about you and gives you the tax deductions and credits you’re eligible for based on your answers. If you have questions, you can connect live via a one-way video to a TurboTax Live CPA or Enrolled Agent to get your tax questions answered. TurboTax Live CPAs and Enrolled Agents are available in English and Spanish and can also review, sign and file your tax return.

Elle Martinez contributed to this post.

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