In order for your charitable contributions to be tax deductible, your donations must go to a qualified charitable organization.

Donations to qualified charities are generally fully deductible, and they may be the easiest deductible expense to time to your tax advantage. After all, you control exactly when and how much you give. But before you donate, it’s critical to make sure the charity you’re considering is indeed a qualified charity — that it’s eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions.

So before you donate, verify that your donations are tax-deductible by searching the IRS’ online search tool, Exempt Organizations (EO) Select Check, which provides a list of tax deductible charities and can help you more easily find out whether an organization is eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions. You can access EO Select Check at apps.irs.gov/app/eos. Information about organizations eligible to receive deductible contributions is updated monthly.

Also, with the 2016 presidential election heating up, it’s important to remember that political donations are not tax-deductible.

Of course, additional rules affect your charitable deductions, so please contact us if you have questions about whether a donation you’re planning will be fully deductible. Our tax experts can also provide ideas for maximizing the tax benefits of your charitable giving.