Q: I plan on making charitable donations to several charities in other countries, including Israeli bond funds. Can I deduct those donations on my tax return? I.Z., Bethpage, N.Y.
A: It depends. As a general rule, taxpayers aren't allowed to deduct charitable contributions to organizations operating outside the United States. But the tax law provides exceptions to this rule for charities in Canada, Mexico and Israel. (Certain charities in Israel are subject to a limit of 25 percent of your adjusted gross income.) Tip: A contribution to a bond fund is not a charitable donation, whether it's domestic or foreign. It's considered an investment. So, contributing to an Israeli bond drive is comparable to buying U.S. Treasury bonds.
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