Are CFC Donations Tax Deductible?

Federal government employees and members of the armed services can make donations to qualified charitable organizations. The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) makes automatic deductions from your salary each pay period and sends your gift to your chosen organization or cause within the CFC donation list. And since all participating recipients are 501(c)(3) organizations, you will enjoy a combined federal campaign tax deduction.

CFC Enrollment Process

Making CFC donations is a simple process. The campaign groups eligible charities into more than ​30 zones​ and the participating charities for each local or overseas zone can differ, depending on your work location.

You can contact your CFC coordinator to find a list of eligible charities. The Office of Personnel Management also provides a web portal that employees can visit to choose charities on the CFC donation list and make annual pledges.

The Federal Code of Regulations that governs the CFC states that most employees must have at least a one-year appointment to enroll in the CFC. Regular military personnel must have an assignment of more than three months, National Guard members and temporary federal employees can take part if their intermittent work is regular.

Your CFC donations are spread out over an entire calendar year. The number of pay periods for your job assignment determines how many payments you’ll make each year toward your donation pledge.

Minimum CFC Donations

The CFC sets your minimum deduction per pay period and per organization at ​$1​. After you find your charities and set a contribution amount, you complete a pledge form for each recipient. The CFC requires that you renew each pledge again every year.

Donations Are Pretax Contributions

Donations to CFC affect your net income every pay period. Unlike retirement contributions, your contributions are deducted from your pre-tax income. Your tax benefit from CFC donations will only be available when you file taxes if your donations meet certain thresholds and you itemize your tax deductions.

CFC Deductions Records

The CFC provides an annual statement of your total campaign deductions on the pay stub that you receive for the final pay period every year. If you authorize deductions for more than one charitable recipient, download a copy of your pledge form from the CFC Pledge Portal for your records.

Itemized CFC Deductions

Are CFC donations tax-deductible? Yes, they are.

To itemize charitable CFC tax deductions, you need to complete and attach Schedule A to your form 1040. Alternatively, the IRS allows you to deduct as much as ​$600​ if you make cash deductions and don’t itemize. In that case, you'd write the amount on ​line 12b​ of your Form 1040 and not need to use Schedule A.

You can deduct anywhere from ​20 to 60 percent​ of your adjusted gross income (AGI) if you itemize deductions to qualifying charities. And the IRS treats each payroll deduction as a separate gift to your charity.

If the total deducted for your CFC pledge recipient per pay period doesn’t exceed ​$250​ and you itemize, enter your annual total on Schedule A, ​Line 11​. Keep your pledge form and final pay stub with your copy of your annual tax return.

CFC payroll deductions that exceed ​$250​ per pledge recipient each pay period require documentation from the eligible charity. You must get and retain a statement from the recipient that shows the total you contributed through the CFC.

The organization’s statement must also declare whether you received a benefit, such as meals or event tickets from any of your donated amounts. If applicable, your charity must supply an estimated value of this benefit in its statement.