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Tax Deductibility FAQs

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How do I get a tax deduction from shopping?
What do I have to do to qualify?
Why does it work?
When did you introduce tax-deductible shopping donations?
How much money goes to my cause?
When do they get the money?
How do I know my cause got the money?
Is there a minimum amount for checks issued to causes?
Why do you provide this service?
What causes are eligible for tax-deductible donations?
Do all of my purchases count for deductions?
What doesn't count for a deduction?
How do I report this to the IRS, and how do I find out all of this for myself?
Do I need a receipt from my cause?
Are there any limits to tax-deductibility?
Are you qualified to give tax advice?
Can I change the cause I support?
Can I choose to get a check instead of give the money to a cause?
Do you need my name and address for my donations to be tax-deductible?
Why is this a "patent-pending system"?

How do I get a tax deduction from shopping?                                                
Make a purchase from a vendor in the Mall at iGive.com (or through an iGive.com Newsletter).  The vendor sends us back a portion of your purchase amount.  We account for the money for you, and then send it to your cause you've selected.  If you're donating to an organization that qualfies under section 170 of the IRS code as a nonprofit, your donation may be considered tax-deductible.  To ensure that your donations through Mall purchases are tax-deductible, the IRS has defined a set of requirements which are listed here.

What do I have to do to qualify?
You have to be an iGive.com member (it's free).    
You have to start your shopping at the Mall at iGive.com (or through an iGive.com Newsletter)

Note: Tax-deductibility is only valuable for an individual U.S. consumer shopping for his or her own personal use.

Why does it work?
To be tax-deductible, the IRS wants to make sure that:

  • You're giving away your money. Your donation is voluntary.
  • Your donation is going to a cause of your choice.
  • Your money is being donated to an entity that qualifies under section 170 of the IRS code.
  • You get a written receipt from the cause for donations over $250 and have an itemization of donations less than $250.
  • No deduction is taken prior to the money actually being disbursed by your agent.

Here's how our patent-pending system assures that these criteria are met:

  • The money from vendors by iGive.com on your behalf is a portion of the money you spent with them.  It's a rebate.  We've established an account for you that tracks this.
  • To make sure that the donation is voluntary, you may choose to receive the money directly, instead of sending it to your favorite cause.  These checks are disbursed in accordance with the cause donation payment schedule shown on this page.
  • You choose the cause that receives your donation.
    We provide you with information supplied by the cause as to the tax-deductibility of donations made to that cause.
  • We do not allow donations over $250 to any single cause from your iGive.com shopping activity in any single month.
  • We provide the member with a detailed listing of the checks sent by us on your behalf to causes and of the purchases they cover.

For more information, see IRS Private Letter Ruling 9623035. 

Remember, ultimately your personal tax situation affects your ability to take any tax deductions, so you should consult your tax advisor.

When did you introduce tax-deductible shopping donations?
The patent-pending system debuted on August 12, 1999, so only purchases made on or after August 12, 1999 may qualify.

How much money goes to my cause? 
The amount differs for every merchant and may change from time to time.  Right now, the amount varies from .4% to 25% of the amount you spend.  When you visit the Mall at iGive.com, you'll see the % (or sometimes a dollar amount) displayed prominently next to the vendor's name.

When do they get the money?
Checks are sent to causes monthly, 75 days in arrears.  This allows the merchants time to report merchandise returns.

At our causes' request, iGive.com does not send checks for amounts less than $25.  If an account has less than $25 at the end of the month, the funds will carry over each month until $25 accrues.

How do I know my cause got the money?
First, we list the date and check number of all the checks we write to cause, on our website's My Stats page.
Second, PLEASE call or write your cause to confirm that they got the money.  Frankly, if they didn't, we want to know about it as soon as possible.

Is there a minimum amount for checks issued to causes?
Yes, the smallest check we will write is for $25.

Why do you provide this service?
It's our mission: to enable the economic power of individuals to benefit their chosen communities.

What causes are eligible for tax-deductible donations?
If you can write the cause a check and deduct the amount of that check, you can deduct the amount of money iGive.com sends them on your behalf.  We've asked the causes listed on our site to tell us if donations to them are deductible, and we'll be listing that information for our members' benefit.  Right now, we've structured this only for members in the U.S. and U.S.-based causes.  We'll be working to extend this to other countries soon.

Do all of my purchases count for deductions?
Any purchase made at a vendor listed in the Mall at iGive.com counts.  Of course, you must have started your shopping from iGive.com (the site, the newsletter, the iGive Button, or iGive apps) in order to get credit for your cause.  Why? Because only iGive.com members can earn money for their causes for their purchases and only after we make an agreement with the merchant to donate a percentage of your purchase to your favorite cause.

What doesn't count for a deduction?
There are lots of other ways to help your cause at iGive.com that may result in money for your cause, but that are not tax-deductible.  For instance, any bonuses you may earn do not count for deductions.  Only donations through purchases count towards tax deductions.

How do I report this to the IRS, and how do I find out all of this for myself?
Just visit "My Stats" for itemized reports of checks and tax deductions.  The "Tax-Deduction Report" gives a breakdown of your donations for the calendar year.  The "Shopping Activity Report" is an itemized list of your purchases and the cause(s) they benefited.  Print this out for your records whenever you want to- the IRS currently doesn't require anything more than a listing for a donation under $250 to any one cause.

Do I need a recept from my cause?
Maybe. Beginning in 2007, the IRS has changed the documentation rules for charitable deductions. You may need a receipt from your cause in order to satisfy IRS requirements. We provide your donation information to your cause so that they may issue a receipt.

Are there any limits to tax-deductibility?
You can choose to give money to as many causes as you wish during the year.  You cannot give more than $250 to any single cause via iGive.com in a given month, to make sure that you stay within the IRS limits on gifts without a receipt directly from the cause.

Are you qualified to give tax advice?
Nope - we're not.  We've worked with our attorneys and the published IRS regulations to invent a system that allows you to deduct a portion of your purchases - but it may not work for everybody or every situation.

Can I change the cause I support?
Yes, as often as you wish.  The change is effective from the date you make the change and beyond.  You cannot change causes retroactively. To change the cause you are supporting, please click here.

Can I choose to get a check instead of give the money to a cause?
Yes, you can.  You can change your donation preferences anytime, and the change is effective immediately.  You cannot change your donation preferences retroactively. If you have chosen not to donate your shopping rebates, they will be disbursed to you quarterly. To change your donation preferences and tax status, click here.

Do you need my name and address for my donations to be tax-deductible?
Yes.  In order to comply with the IRS regulations, we need your name and address on file.  Like all information at iGive.com, it is covered by our extremely strong privacy policy.  We will not reveal your information to third parties without your prior permission.

Why is this a "patent-pending system"?
Nobody's ever done this before, yet for years our members have been asking us "is this deductible?"  So, we set our best minds to work on it, closeted them with attorneys, and invented a way to do it.  We're really proud of it (we hope you can tell).  Not only is it unique, novel, and unobvious, it's really easy for our members to do.  So, we've applied for a patent on a method for making and accounting for purchases tax-deductible to the purchaser.



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