DEFINITION of 'Quid Pro Quo Contribution '

A charitable donation for which the donor receives something from the recipient in exchange. A quid pro quo contribution has different rules for federal income tax deductibility than a regular charitable contribution, for which the donor receives nothing from the charity in return. The IRS considers as tax deductible only the amount of the contribution in excess of the value of the good or service the charity gave the donor.

BREAKING DOWN 'Quid Pro Quo Contribution '

During her favorite public radio station’s local pledge drive, Ann donates $150. As a thank you from the radio station, she receives a gift certificate for a cooking class that would normally cost $70. (The public radio station is able to offer such a generous premium because a sponsor donated it.) Ann’s contribution is considered a quid pro quo contribution because she receives something in exchange for her donation.

Since Ann donated more than $75, the Internal Revenue Service requires the public radio station to send her a letter stating that the amount of Ann’s $150 contribution that is deductible on her federal income tax return is limited to $80 – the amount of her contribution minus the $70 fair market value of the cooking-class gift certificate she received.

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