Attending an event to support a favorite cause is a popular way to "do good." And more than 90% of Americans give to at least one charity each year. But when you buy that ticket to a charity event, how do you know how much of it is tax deductible? Here are three tax tips worth learning to be sure you're getting the most bang for your "doing good" buck.
First, remember that a tax deduction for charitable contributions is possible only if you itemize deductions on your income tax return instead of using the IRS's standard deduction. So before you start worrying about keeping your receipts, check to be sure it matters in the first place.
Second, even if you do itemize your deductions, remember that the IRS only allows a tax deduction for portion of the ticket price for which you, the giver, received nothing of tangible value in return for your contribution. So, when the charity sends you a receipt for your gift, you'll see that they've subtracted the fair market value of the food, beverage, entertainment, t-shirts, and gifts from the dollar amount of your contribution.
Finally, remember that it's not all about the tax deduction. Buying tickets to an event to support your favorite cause is a good thing to do, with or without the deduction. It's always a good thing to do when you're having a good time for a good cause.