What is a charitable contribution?
A contribution would merit a tax deduction on your state and federal returns, and also qualifies you for the 50% Idaho tax credit for donating to a school district (with limitations, see instructions for Idaho Form 39R instructions). The Idaho instructions specifically state that cash donations qualify; a donation of goods or services does not qualify for the tax credit.
The Foundation Board has an ongoing concern that its patrons are given correct information regarding the deductibility of contributions to the foundation. The following are excerpts from Publication 526 (1996), Charitable Contributions from the Internal Revenue Service.
"A charitable contribution is a donation or gift...that is voluntary and is made without getting, or expecting to get, anything of equal value."
"...if your contribution is a substitute for .. [an] enrollment fee, it is not deductible as a charitable contribution..."
"The contribution must be made to a qualified organization and not set aside for use by a specific person."
"If you receive a benefit as a result of making a contribution to a qualified organization, you can deduct only the amount of your contribution that is more than the value of the benefit you receive."
"A qualified organization must give you a written statement if you make a payment to it that is more than a $75 and is partly a contribution and partly for goods and services. The statement must tell you that you can deduct only the amount of your payment that is more than the value of the goods or services you received. It must also give you a good faith estimate of the value of those goods or services."
Determining the Value of Donated Property