There has been no shortage of need during the pandemic, and to help meet it, friends, neighbors and customers have set up hundreds of thousands of crowdfunding campaigns.
GoFundMe estimates that an American has started a Covid related fundraiser on its site every two minutes since March 2020.
But donors shouldn’t assume their contributions are tax deductible.
And fundraising organizers should not assume the money they have raised won’t be taxable.
How to know if a donation is deductible
Giving money to an online fundraiser to help those in need or to fund a creator’s project on platforms like Kickstarter is not going to be tax deductible unless the money raised is going to an IRS-designated charitable organization known as a 501(c)(3).
The world may have changed in 2020, “but the rules about charitable contributions have not,” said Jackie Perlman, tax principal & research analyst for The Tax Institute at H&R Block. “I have to be donating to a qualified 501(c)(3) charity. [Otherwise] no matter how poignant the cause may be, your donation still is not deductible.”
GoFundMe, one of the best known crowdfunding platforms, notes on its site that donations to a personal GoFundMe fundraiser are “generally considered to be personal gifts and are not guaranteed to be tax deductible.”