I'm planning on doing some volunteer work and during this work, I'm going to amass a decent amount of non-refundable tax credits via charitable donations. I can't claim those this year, though, because my income is less than $11,000/year (I am just starting grade 12) and I won't be able to claim in the next 5 years because I'll be attending university and my income will likely be $11,000/year or less.

I had an idea of giving them to a parent and having them use the credits in when they file their tax return, and then when the tax refund comes in, they could just pay me the value of the credits. Am I allowed to do this or are tax receipts issued to a specific name? If so, could I make all donations under a parent's name?

  • Can you clairfy what credits you mean? Typically charitable donations are a deduction, not a credit (i.e., they reduce your taxable income, they don't directly reduce your tax due).
    – BrenBarn
    Aug 21, 2014 at 7:22

1 Answer 1


Only the person who actually made the donation can claim the deduction. Interestingly, I can't find an IRS source addressing this misconception directly, but it is implicit in statements like this:

You can deduct your contributions only in the year you actually make them

You can also find various other sources on the internet saying the same thing (e.g., here and here).

Incidentally, donation of your time via volunteer work is not a deductible contribution, even for you. Not sure from your question whether this is the nature of your donation, but just in case.

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