COLUMBUS, Ohio — People around the country are donating in honor of Giving Tuesday and one convenient way to do that is by donating to a charity at the checkout of a grocery store.
However, there's a claim on Facebook gaining momentum telling shoppers not to do this because companies are using it to their advantage.
THE CLAIM: Stores get tax benefits for customers who donate through checkout charities.
- Eric Thiergartner, a CPA based here in Columbus and CEO of Hessen
- Steven Rossman, a CPA based in Philadelphia and shareholder of Drucker & Saccetti
- Tatiana Tsoir, a CPA based in New York and small business expert.
WHAT WE FOUND:
"When you go to the cash register, or the fuel pump, wherever, and you're asked, ‘would you like to donate $1 to, you know, to this charity, or this program,’ that's your money," said Thiergartner.
"All that the retailer is doing is they're being a conduit, right? They were they're taking the money from the customer and sending it to the to the charity,” said Rossman.
Our three experts verify this claim is false. Stores do not use your donation at checkout to offset taxes.
"The business could report it two ways,” explained Tsoir. “It could report it as income and then list the charitable donation in which case for their business, there is no financial effect. It's an in in and out, but or they could just ignore the entire transaction and send the money right to the charity."
You can check if a charity is legitimate by going to the IRS website.
And there are websites that will share more about specifically what your donation is used for.
It's always a good idea to ask for a receipt -- it's mandatory for donations more than $250.
And when you add up all of those $1, $5, or $10 donations from throughout the year, you could potentially claim those as a deduction on your tax return.
"For 2021, you can give up to $300 per person or $600 for a married filing joint, even if you don't itemize your deductions that's new for it started last year,” Rossman said.
Have something you'd like us to verify? Send us an email to verify@10TV.com.