From the Archives: Are Donations to a 501(c)(4) Deductible?

donation-517132_1280It’s a holiday week, so as always, I’m re-posting popular blog stories from the past.

This blog post from November 2012 answers a question that comes up a lot. The short answer is: generally no for individuals, and maybe for businesses.


Originally published November 28, 2012

The question of whether a person can deduct donations to a 501(c)(4) organization comes up periodically. The answer is, no, you can’t deduct those donations as a charitable contribution. Only donations to 501(c)(3) entities are deductible as charitable contributions.

Donations to 501(c)(4) organizations are not deductible as charitable contributions. The only exception is for donations to 501(c)(4) volunteer fire companies — those donations ARE deductible. But otherwise, you can’t deduct contributions to a 501(c)(4).

Businesses that make donations to a 501(c)(4) might be able to take a deduction as abusiness expense, such as an advertising expense, depending on the nature of the donation.

For more tax considerations to think about before making a donation, check out William Perez’s article “Tax Tips for Charitable Giving” at the Tax Planning website.

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