Can You Take a Tax Deduction for Animal Charity Gifts?

If you buy an animal charity gift, you may be able to take a tax deduction, but there are rules you have to follow.

This post is provided for general information only. Please confirm the details and circumstances of your unique situation with your tax accountant or other appropriate advisor before taking action.

You can’t deduct the value of anything you receive.

You can only deduct donations not purchases. So if you buy a gift from an animal charity, you can’t deduct the full purchase price.

For example, say you bought a stuffed elephant for $40 that would normally sell for $30. You can’t deduct $40 because you got something in return for your money. You can deduct the $10 difference between $40 and $30. That’s because you only got a product worth $30, and your donation is the extra $10.

Some charities will tell you the actual value of what you’re buying so you can calculate your deduction. You can also use fair market values, if available. If it’s a unique item and you’re not able to show you’re paying more than a fair purchase price, you may not be able to take a deduction at all.

You have to buy from a qualified charity.

In order to take a charitable deduction for an animal charity gift, you have to buy it from a qualified charity.

For example, if you buy from the World Wildlife Fund gift shop, you can take a deduction. If you buy from a commercial retailer who promises to give a portion of sales to charity, you can’t take a deduction. The retailer is the one making the donation, and they get the deduction.

This is a similar situation to Rolex charity donations. Even though a non-profit organization owns the company that makes Rolex watches, Rolex itself is a business. Rolex purchases don’t count as charitable deductions. So if you want to take a deduction, make sure you’re buying a gift directly from a qualified non-profit.

You have to meet the usual charitable contribution rules.

In addition to having a qualifying donation to a qualifying non-profit, you have to meet the usual charitable contribution rules.

The charitable donations tax deduction limit for 2022 is 60% of your Adjusted Gross Income. If you already make large donations, you need to watch out for the limit when you buy animal charity gifts. All of your charitable contributions fall under one limit. Of course, only your donation value counts towards the limit, not the total purchase price of an item you received.

For any charitable contribution deduction, you have to itemize your tax deductions. If you use the standard deduction, you can’t take a deduction for an animal charity gift. However, the standard deduction is supposed to cover these types of deductions while reducing how it is to file your taxes.

Save your receipts.

If you do claim a deduction, save your receipts and any other proof of the value of items you received. The IRS will want to see proof of your donations. This includes showing that you paid more than the item was worth as a donation to the organization. You’ll also need to be able to show where you made the purchase to prove that it was from a qualified non-profit.

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