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Trump may be eligible for a tax break after donating his salary to stop the coronavirus

President Donald Trump donated his salary for the fourth quarter of 2019 to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Feeling generous? You can make a gift to the federal government, as well, by writing a check to the Treasury and noting that it’s a gift to the U.S.

If you itemize on your income tax return, you can claim a charitable donation deduction.

President Donald Trump is giving away part of his salary to help stop coronavirus, and he just might be able to take a tax break for doing so.

The president donated $100,000 — his salary for the fourth quarter of 2019 — to the Department of Health and Human Services. Trump has donated his salary to a different federal agency each quarter since he’s been in office.

It pays to be generous.

“Taxpayers can claim a deduction for gifts to the federal government as long as they itemize deductions on their returns,” said Joshua Blank, a law professor at the University of California, Irvine School of Law.

“Trump gets the income and he wants to give it to someone else,” he said. “Is there a deduction allowed?

“By statute, the answer is yes,” Blank added. “But he has to pay taxes on income received.”

The White House referred questions on whether Trump would deduct the donation to his outside counsel. Jay Sekulow, the president’s attorney, said the matter was not his area.

During the 2019 fiscal year, the Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service received $4.9 million in gifts from the public to help reduce the nation’s debt.

Indeed, the U.S. has established a special account called “Gifts to the United States” to receive these contributions.

These donations are considered “charitable contributions” only if the gift is made exclusively for public purposes, according to a 2012 Treasury letter on the matter.

Other federal agencies that are open to donations from the public include the National Endowment for the Arts, the Department of State and the presidential libraries and museums of the National Archives and Records Administration.

Here’s how you — and the president — can write off charitable giving to the U.S.

Source: Darla Mercado @ CNBC

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