Can You Write Off a School Supply Donation on Your Taxes?

As you consider how your financial decisions affect your taxes, you might wonder if you can write off a school supply donation. Fortunately, we’re here to give you the answer! Stick around to learn how you can give back to your school district and the tax-related benefits of doing so.

Donations Are Tax Deductible

Depending on the organization and type of donation, you can write off a school supply donation on your taxes.

According to Intuit TurboTax, The IRS lets you claim a deduction for the donations you make to qualified organizations. This includes nonprofit charities and school district programs that the state and local government support entirely.

The amount you can deduct is equal to the value of all cash and property you donate to the school. The federal tax law lets you use a reasonable valuation method for most property contributions if it assesses a practical value. Basically, you can write off the price a buyer would pay for similar items. For example, if you donate notebooks and pens, check costs for the school supplies at local stores to determine the fair value of these items.

What Can Reduce Your Deduction

When people make charitable contributions, they don’t expect to receive something in exchange. However, some organizations give donors gifts for their contributions. In these instances, the IRS requires you to reduce the amount of the charitable deduction by the value of any property or services you receive from the school.

For example, if you donate $7,000 worth of supplies and the school gifts you a $400 gift certificate to a massage parlor, you must reduce your deduction to $6,600. The exception is if the school gives you a gift of minimal value for the donation.

How To Donate Supplies

If you’re thinking about donating supplies to schools, the most needed items are backpacks, notebooks, writing instruments, laptops, tablets, and art supplies.

Some of the top places to donate items are school supply drives at churches, libraries, and retailers. You can contact teachers to discuss what they need and donate to specific classrooms. Additionally, certain nonprofit organizations provide school supplies to underprivileged schools.

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