Updated for tax year 2017
Charitable donations and your taxes
If the item you received in return was worth less than the amount you donated, you can still take a deduction for it on your tax return.
For example, if you attend a charity silent auction and pay $10,000 for a vacation package that is worth $5,000, you can deduct $5,000 as a charitable donation. The organization you donated to should tell you what the item is worth so you have a better understanding of its value.
To deduct a charitable contribution, you must file Form 1040 and itemize deductions on Schedule A.