The Red Cross used our church as a shelter for families displaced by Hurricane Katrina. We signed up to help one of the families. We took them to Target, Footlocker, and out to eat, spending about $550. Can we write off the $550? (R.D., Kingwood, TX)
Probably not. Section 170(c) allows the charitable deduction when you give the money to or for the use of the charity. Generally, amounts given to individuals do not qualify for deduction.
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