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This seems like it would be easily Google-able, but because I am located in Canada, all results are along the lines of "how to claim a US donation on your canadian taxes".

My question is, if someone located in the US donates to a Canadian charity and is issued a receipt, can they claim that credit on their US taxes? Thanks :)

  • Some Canadian charities have a US branch that accept donations (in US dollars) on behalf of the Canadian charity. This is similar to UNICEF which is not a US charity, and US people who want to support UNICEF send their money to US Fund for UNICEF, and not to UNICEF directly (unless of course they wish to forego the charitable deduction on their US tax returns). – Dilip Sarwate Mar 21 '18 at 20:07
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    To clarify @DilipSarwate emphasis of "deduction", a credit is when the amount is subtracted from your taxes due. A deduction is when the amount is subtracted from your taxable income. So a $100 credit would reduce your taxes by $100 (or increase your refund by $100), while a $100 deduction will decrease your taxes by $100*tax rate. – Acccumulation Mar 21 '18 at 20:40
  • Mostly dupe money.stackexchange.com/questions/92051/… – dave_thompson_085 Mar 21 '18 at 21:59
  • Disagree @dave_thompson_085 . That doesn't answer this question at all. – James May 28 at 20:59
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This page on the IRS web site states that contributions to any organization on the searchable Exempt Organizations list is eligible to some level of deductions.

Note that, apart from the usual IRS deduction limits,

A deduction for a contribution to a Canadian organization is not allowed if the contributor reports no taxable income from Canadian sources on the United States income tax return

The way I interpret that is, a US person can only claim donations to a Canadian charity if 1) the charity is on the exempt list and 2) the person had income from Canadian sources equal or exceeding the donated amount.

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From this IRS publication

Contributions made by a U.S. citizen or resident to a Canadian registered charity are treated as charitable contributions for purposes of IRC 170(c). See Article XXI, paragraph 5 and Notice 99-47. However, the charitable tax deduction is subject to two restrictions. First, a U.S. donor may use the deduction only against its Canadian source income. Second, the deduction is subject to the percentage limitations described in IRC 170(b). The percentage limitations permit a U.S. donor that made charitable contributions to a Canadian registered charity classified as a private foundation to deduct up to 30 percent of the donor’s income derived from Canada. Any excess may be carried over and deducted in subsequent taxable years. This percentage amount is raised to 50 percent if the Canadian registered charity is classified as a non-private foundation under IRC 509(a)(1) or IRC 509(a)(2). (The percentage limitation does not apply where the Canadian registered charity is a Canadian college or university at which the donor, or a member of the donor’s family, is or was enrolled (see Article XXI, paragraph 5)).

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