Political contributions may help get your candidate elected, but they won’t get you a tax deduction
2012 is an election year – in case all the negative ads spamming the airwaves haven’t already tipped you off. And election season, like almost everything else, raises some very important tax questions, not all of them about Mitt Romney’s hidden returns.
With passions inflamed on both sides of the aisle, many Americans are so convinced that their candidate is the right one for the job that they make a campaign donation. An elect few are even running for office themselves, perhaps even out of their own pocket. It doesn’t take a tax geek to wonder what kind of impact these expenses will have come April 15.
We all know that donations to charity are tax deductible. For many people, the tax break from Uncle Sam is almost as big a motivating factor as altruism. It’s only natural to wonder if donations to a political campaign are tax deductible too.
The answer is no, political contributions are not tax deductible. You cannot deduct expenses in support of any candidate running for any office, even if you are spending money on your own campaign. Qualification and registration fees for primaries as well as a legal expenses related to a candidacy are not deductible either. (more…)