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Posted by: Charles P Myrick CPA Posted on: Sep 14 2023

Maximize Your Tax Benefits by Making Donations to Animal Shelters


It feels good when you're able to make charitable contributions to causes that matter while also managing your tax liability. Giving back to your local animal shelter is a heartwarming experience, but it can be a financially savvy move, too. There are many animal shelters that play a critical role in rescuing and caring for animals in need, and your contributions can make a significant difference. Explore the tax benefits of donating to animal shelters, how you can contribute, and what deductions you may be eligible for along the way! Here's how to maximize your tax benefits by making donations to animal shelters.

Donating to Your Local Animal Shelter: A Noble Act with Tax Advantages

Animal welfare groups, like your local humane society, work tirelessly to rescue and house animals in need while helping them find loving forever homes through adoption. Many of these organizations operate on a razor-thin budget, with donations providing crucial support for their operations. Donations can fund daily care, outreach programs, staff training, and medical expenses for animals, and there's an added perk: your generosity can translate into tax savings. Donations to qualified animal shelters can be claimed as tax deductions, reducing your taxable income. All you have to do is request a receipt from the shelter that provides the organization's name, the amount you donated, and the donation date.

Non-Monetary Animal Shelter Donations

Money keeps an operation running, but that doesn't mean animal shelters don't welcome and actively need material donations. Donating supplies and needed items can be another way of providing meaningful help while minimizing your tax burden. While it's always best to check with your local shelter to determine their specific needs, the following items are among those requested most often:

  • Pet food
  • Cat litter and litter boxes 
  • Dog toys and harnesses
  • Cleaning supplies (brooms, mops, towels, etc.)
  • Paper towels and office supplies 
  • Pet beds
  • Heating pads
  • Laundry detergent

Donating these types of items is a great way to positively impact shelter operations to help them meet the needs of the animals while reaping the tax benefits as well.

Navigating the Tax Benefits of Donating to Animal Shelters

When you contribute to a qualifying charity, like an animal shelter, you can deduct the full donation amount from your taxable income. If you receive any benefits or goods in return for the donation, the deductible amount must exceed the benefit's fair market value.

It's also important to note that there are limits to deducting charitable contributions from your taxes. Generally, you can deduct up to 60 percent of your adjusted gross income (AGI), though specifics depend upon the type of contributions and the nature of the organization. Should your donation exceed the AGI limits, you may be able to carry over excess contributions and deduct them on future tax returns for up to five years. 

If you choose to donate needed supplies and other physical items, the fair market value of those items can be deducted. You must itemize your deductions to claim these benefits.

Tax planning can be complicated, and the stakes are high. For this reason, it's always wise to work with a seasoned tax professional who understands the intricacies of tax strategy. Myrick CPA can help you maximize the rewards for your generosity and minimize your overall tax burden. Contact us today to learn more about how your support for local shelters could lower your tax bill.

Schedule a Tax Planning Meeting