Updated: May 7
Helping others that are less fortunate than yourself is always a great investment. Donating to qualified organizations will not only benefit people in need, but may also help lower your tax bill. Here is some helpful information to ensure you receive proper charitable deductions on your tax return.
Tax Deductions and Charitable Donations
All deductions must be filed on Form 1040 and each one itemized on Schedule A.
Make sure whomever you donate to is a qualified organization to ensure the tax deduction is legitimate.
Be sure to have proper proof of all your donations regardless of price. For all cash contributions you will need either records of payroll deductions, bank verification, phone bill records (for text message donations) or documentation from the organization providing date of contribution, and the amount provided.
If you receive some kind of exchange for merchandise, tickets to an event or other goods or services, you cannot exceed the Fair-Market-Value (FMV) price.
Non-cash items such as food, clothing, and other household items are worth FMV as well. Household items must be new or in good condition if used.
The value of vehicle donations is determined by the organization receiving the vehicle. See this guide to car donations for more information.
A single donation of cash or property valued at $250 or more requires written acknowledgement by the organization with amount of cash or exchange, date, description of item, and the name of the organization. When your total donations for the year are valued over $500, it would require an IRS Form 8283 with your return.
Transportation expenses can be deducted if you use your vehicle for medical, business, or charitable purposes. More information on how to deduct miles for charitable volunteering, click here.
Taxes may be confusing and frustrating because of all of the specific rules and regulations to abide by but do your research to ensure you receive all of the proper deductions you deserve. Click here for more detailed information regarding taxes and charitable contributions, or visit the IRS website http://www.irs.gov/. You can also speak with your ATBS tax professional for more information.
Sources: http://www.efile.com/tax-deduction/income-deduction/charitable-contributions/ http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits/Charitable-Organizations/Charitable-Contribution-Deductions http://www.irs.gov/uac/Eight-Tips-for-Deducting-Charitable-Contributions
Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jschueller2/