Can PTA Donations Be Deducted on Taxes?

by John Desimone, Demand Media

    Before you try to write off that donation you made to your local PTA, it's important to know if your contribution is tax-deductible. Under Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3) PTAs qualify as charitable organizations to which you may make tax-deductible gifts. That doesn't mean, however, that every gift of any sort to any PTA group is tax-deductible.

    Tax-Deductible Gifts

    Generally, under the Internal Revenue Code for nonprofit charitable gifts, any contribution you make and for which you receive nothing of value in return is tax-deductible.
    So, for example, if you're at a fundraiser and you win an auction for a $50 gift card from a restaurant for your bid of $70, you can deduct $20 as a gift. If you simply donated the $50 to the fundraising drive, it would be all tax-deductible.

    Businesses

    Generally the same rules apply for businesses that apply for individuals. If your business receives something in return for your donation, it is not tax-deductible. If you donate a $50 gift card that may be used at your restaurant, the full amount is deductible. If a printing company donated cash to a PTA and the acknowledgement reads like an advertisement, the print shop receives something of value for its donation, so it is not tax-deductible. If the acknowledgement lists only the name, address and phone number of the print shop, it's considered a donation.

    Volunteers Expenses

    PTA volunteers who promote and organize activities can deduct unreimbursed expenses for meals, travel, phone calls, etc. For example, If you are reimbursed $100 for travel while on PTA business but you spent $500, all related to PTA business, you can deduct the remaining $400 as a charitable contribution.

    Written Receipts

    Any cash gift over $75 must have a cash receipt. The PTA's tax ID should appear on the receipt. You should always ask for a receipt for noncash gifts. The IRS requires an independent appraisal for noncash gifts valued at more than $5,000.

    About the Author

    John DeSimone is a published fiction and nonfiction writer. He has contributed to regional newspapers and authored several books. DeSimone also teaches writing at two universities in Southern California.