As Americans absorb agonizing reports about Hamas’ brutal terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians and Israel’s bombing of Gaza in retaliation, many may want to give to help those suffering.
Giving money in times like these can be tricky since, in addition to making sure your dollars are used wisely and get where you intended for them to go, there may be tax and other legal considerations. Here’s what you need to know.
If you want to receive a tax deduction for your contribution, your donation must be made to a qualified organization. Those generally include religious organizations like churches, synagogues, temples, and mosques in the U.S., as well as domestic nonprofit schools and hospitals. It also includes what we typically think of as charitable organizations like the American Red Cross and the United Way.
You should check out the credentials of a potential charitable organization before you donate. An easy way to check charitable status is to click over to the Tax Exempt Organization Search Tool on the IRS website or call the IRS (toll-free) at 1.877.829.5500. Keep in mind that churches, synagogues, temples, and mosques in the U.S. are considered de facto charitable organizations and are eligible to receive deductible donations even if they’re not on the list (some exceptions apply, so be sure and ask if you’re not sure).
You are typically not allowed to claim a tax deduction for your contribution to a non-U.S.-based charitable organization. That’s made clear in the tax code under section 170(c)(2)(A), which provides that if a charitable contribution is to be deductible, it must be made to an organization “created or organized in the United States or in any possession thereof, or under the law of the United States, any state, the District of Columbia, or any possession of the United States.”
You may still donate to non-U.S.-based charitable organizations. However, those donations are not considered tax-deductible charitable contributions—even if they are made to charitable organizations in the country where services are being performed.
Though the game show doesn’t have the level of danger included in the original “Squid Game” —a fictional Korean series in which participants are often seriously maimed or killed—two former contestants of “The Challenge” have threatened to sue Netflix over hypothermia and nerve damage they reportedly suffered while playing “Red Light, Green Light.”