Year-End Gifts to Charity
Many people give to charity each year during the holiday season. Remember, if you want to claim a tax deduction for your gifts, you must itemize your deductions. There are several tax rules that you should know about before you give. Here are six tips from the IRS that you should keep in mind:
1. Qualified charities. You can only deduct gifts you give to qualified charities and if you itemize your deductions on Schedule A.
2. Monetary donations. Gifts of money include those made in cash or by check, electronic funds transfer, credit card and payroll deduction. You must have a bank record or written statement from the charity to deduct any gift of money on your tax return.
3. Household goods. The IRS is beginning to monitor this are more closely. This includes furniture, furnishings, electronics, appliances and linens and clothing. If you claim a deduction of over $500 for an item it doesn’t have to meet this standard if you include a qualified appraisal of the item with your tax return.
5. Year-end gifts. You can deduct contributions in the year you make them. If you charge your gift to a credit card before the end of the year it will count for 2014. Also, a check will count for 2014 as long as you mail it in 2014. (keep certified receipt)
6. Special rules. Most charities where you give a car, boat or airplane will know about the special IRS rules. If you give a large item, ask for the rules or go to www.IRS.gov.
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