Charitable Giving Around the Holidays
Are you feeling extra jolly this holiday season? Before giving to your favorite holiday charities, be sure to get informed.
Holiday donations often pair with the tax-friendly charitable deduction–but be wary of the gifts that won’t qualify for the benefit. Read on to learn how to fine-tune your charitable holiday giving and save cash on your upcoming tax return filing.
Holiday Donations 2016-2017
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Why Should I Donate During the Holidays?
The act of donating to your favorite holiday charities sparks a sense of good-deed. Those on the fence may wonder, what is the value of holiday donations on your tax return? In order to claim gifts to holiday charities, the giver must itemize deductions on their tax return.
Contributions made to a qualified charity are only deductible within the year a contribution is made. Keep in mind, if you make a contribution via credit card, the gift is deductible when it’s charged. Not when you pay the bill!
- For cash donations that are less than $250, it is generally sufficient to keep a bank statement, receipt, or other record that shows the name of the organization, date the contribution was made, and the amount of the contribution.
- For cash contributions of $250 or more, no deduction is allowed unless you have a receipt or other written confirmation from the charity – a canceled check alone is not enough. If you are in the 25% bracket, that $1,000 donation receipt could be worth up to $250 in tax savings.
- If you donate property with a combined value more than $250 you will have to have a statement from the charity acknowledging the contribution.
- For property worth more than $5,000, you will also need to include a qualified appraisal on your return.
- The IRS only permits deductions for donations of clothing and household items that are in “good condition or better.” Special rules apply to vehicle donations.
If you have any questions about holiday charities or donations made during the holidays, contact your local H&R Block tax professional for more details.
As end-of-year approaches, taxes owed can become a major headache. Plan ahead by considering 529 Tax Deductions and other end-of-year savings options.
Do you have unreimbursed expenses to include on your tax return? Learn how to claim unreimbursed employee expenses with IRS Form 2106.
If you are just getting your tax documents together and figuring out what to do next, here is a handy checklist to help you keep everything organized.
Head of household is a filing status for single or unmarried taxpayers who have maintained a home for a qualifying person, such as a child or relative. This filing status provides a larger standard deduction and more generous tax rates for calculating federal income tax than the Single filing status.