IRS Publication 526 Charitable Contributions
Contributions You Cannot Deduct
Contributions From Which You Benefit
If you receive or expect to receive a financial or economic benefit as a result of making a contribution to a qualified organization, you cannot deduct the part of the contribution that represents the value of the benefit you receive. See Contributions From Which You Benefit under Contributions You Can Deduct, earlier. These contributions include:
Contributions for lobbying. This includes amounts that you earmark for use in, or in connection with, influencing specific legislation.
Contributions to a retirement home that are for room, board, maintenance, or admittance. Also, if the amount of your contribution depends on the type or size of apartment you will occupy, it is not a charitable contribution.
Costs of raffles, bingo, lottery, etc. You cannot deduct as a charitable contribution amounts you pay to buy raffle or lottery tickets or to play bingo or other games of chance. For information on how to report gambling winnings and losses, see Deductions Not Subject to the 2% Limit in Publication 529.
Dues to fraternal orders and similar groups. However, see Membership fees or dues under Contributions From Which You Benefit, earlier.
Tuition, or amounts you pay instead of tuition, even if you pay them for children to attend parochial schools or qualifying nonprofit day-care centers. You also cannot deduct any fixed amount you may be required to pay in addition to the tuition fee to enroll in a private school, even if it is designated as a “donation.”
Contributions connected with split-dollar insurance arrangements. You cannot deduct any part of a contribution to a charitable organization if, in connection with the contribution, the organization directly or indirectly pays, has paid, or is expected to pay any premium on any life insurance, annuity, or endowment contract for which you, any member of your family or any other person chosen by you (other than a qualified charitable organization) is a beneficiary.
Example. You donate money to a charitable organization. The charity uses the money to purchase a cash value life insurance policy. The beneficiaries under the insurance policy include members of your family. Even though the charity may eventually get some benefit out of the insurance policy, you cannot deduct any part of the donation.
IRS Publication 526, Charitable Contributions