Tax Benefits to Giving

The following information is presented for general information only. Consult with your Attorney or Tax Consultant to determine its application to your specific organization and situation.

U.S. Congress enacted Section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code in 1976 to encourage donations by corporations to earn an enhanced tax deduction for donating selected surplus property, including food.

The Code provides that wholesome food that is properly saved, donated to an approved agency, and properly receipted is eligible for an enhanced tax deduction.

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The Federal Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act

The Federal Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act protects the donor and the recipient agency against liability, excepting only gross negligence and/or intentional misconduct. In addition, each state has passed Good Samaritan Laws that provide liability protection to good faith donors.

The law protects food donors, including individuals, and nonprofit feeding programs who act in good faith. While exceptions are made for gross negligence, the law states that test groups will not be subject to civil or criminal liability. More specifically, the law protects individuals, corporations, partnerships, organizations, associations, governmental entities, wholesalers, retailers, restaurateurs, caterers, farmers, gleaners, nonprofit agencies, and more.

The Emerson Act provides protection for food and grocery products that meet all quality and labeling standards imposed by federal, state, and local laws and regulations even though the food may not be “readily marketable due to appearance, age, freshness, grade, size, surplus, or other conditions.”

To review the full law please click here.