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Campaign Contributions vs. Donations


LegalZoom Uncovers What You Can and Can't Write Off

(Los Angeles, CA - September 3, 2008) - As the US presidential election enters its home stretch, political campaigns are hard at work to raise the extra funds necessary to make it through the final months. From volunteer-run phone banks to online contributions, candidates are receiving millions of dollars in contributions from dedicated supporters. Yet, what many Americans may not know is that the $500 check they just wrote to their Party can't be written off as a tax deduction.

"Only donations to a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation are tax deductible to the full extent of the law," explains Brian Liu, co-founder and chairman of, the nation's leading online legal document and filing service. "And while other types of non-profits such as a 501(c)4 do exist, and can to an extent engage in political campaign activity, donations to these types up organizations do not qualify for deductions."

Still looking to support your favorite candidate but in need of a tax write off? Make a donation to a cause supported by your candidate of choice. Whether you support their stance on education or global aid, find a 501(c)3 non-profit that is in line with your candidate's position - or better yet, start your own non-profit organization. makes it easy to start a non-profit organization. LegalZoom's online resource center will help you check if your idea qualifies for a non-profit, and will help you to quickly form your non-profit corporation and prepare your 501(c)3 application for tax exemption.