Campaign Contributions vs. Donations: LegalZoom Uncovers What You Can and Can't Write Off

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As the US presidential election enters its home stretch, political campaigns are hard at work to raise the extra funds necessary to make it through the final months. From volunteer-run phone banks to online contributions, candidates are receiving millions of dollars in contributions from dedicated supporters. Yet, what many Americans may not know is that the $500 check they just wrote to their Party can’t be written off as a tax deduction.

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And while other types of non-profits such as a 501(c)4 do exist, and can to an extent engage in political campaign activity, donations to these types up organizations generally do not qualify for charitable deductions.

"Only donations to a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation are tax deductible as charitable contributions to the full extent of the law," explains Brian Liu, co-founder and chairman of LegalZoom.com, the nation's leading online legal document and filing service. "And while other types of non-profits such as a 501(c)4 do exist, and can to an extent engage in political campaign activity, donations to these types up organizations generally do not qualify for charitable deductions."

Still looking to support your favorite candidate but in need of a tax write off? Make a donation to a charitable cause supported by your candidate of choice. Whether you support their stance on education or global aid, find a 501(c)3 non-profit that is in line with your candidate's position – or better yet, start your own non-profit organization.

LegalZoom.com makes it easy to start a non-profit organization. LegalZoom's online resource center allows you to check if your cause qualifies for non-profit status. LegalZoom will also let you quickly form your non-profit corporation and can prepare your 501(c)3 application for tax exemption.

About LegalZoom.com

LegalZoom.com is the nation's leading online legal document and filing service. Co-founded by attorney Robert Shapiro in 2001, LegalZoom.com (http://www.legalzoom.com) offers a convenient and cost-effective way to take care of common legal needs. LegalZoom service offerings include: Wills, Living Wills, Incorporation, LLC Formation, Living Trusts, Powers of Attorney, Divorce, Small Claims, Trademarks, Patents, Copyrights and more. LegalZoom.com is not a law firm and does not provide legal advice or counsel.

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Stephanie Holbrook
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