It is possible to get an income tax deduction - without paying for it.
An example would be a charitable contribution of appreciated (increased in value) property.
Suppose you owned land that you purchased a few years ago for $10,000. If the value had increased to $30,000 now and you gave it to a church or IRS qualified charity, you get a deduction for $30,000.
You will need to document the value; probably with an appraisal, and the church or charity is to give you a letter of "thanks" that indicates the details of the gift. You get $30,000 of …