Qualified Charitable Organizations

March 25, 2009 rick
In order for donations to be deductible, it must be given to a “qualified U.S. organization.” Not all nonprofit organizations qualify, but the IRS regularly publishes a list of the ones that do. In general, the qualifying groups can be categorized as:• Governmental bodies; • Nonprofit groups organized for religious, educational, scientific, or literary purposes;•
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Limits on Charitable Deductions

March 25, 2009 rick
In general, deductions for charitable gifts are limited to 50% of a taxpayer's adjusted gross income. However, depending on the kind of organization and the type of property being given, that limit can dip as low as 20%. And if the individual's income is high enough, the partial benefit of his or her charitable deductions
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Non-Cash Donations

March 25, 2009 rick
Donations don’t always have to be in cash. One can also deduct the “fair market value” (FMV) of donated items like used clothing, furniture, and appliances (FMV is the price goods are likely to sell for on the open market). Condition of Contributed Items: The condition of the contributed item is important, because except as
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Gifts That Return a Benefit to You

March 25, 2009 rick
If a taxpayer is audited on his or her contributions, the IRS looks to see whether voluntary donations were made intentionally or whether it was just payment for services provided by a charitable organization. For example, payments to a parochial school for a child’s tuition or to a church for a family wedding give the
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Travel Away From Home for Charity

March 25, 2009 rick
A charitable deduction can be taken for travel expenses (including meals and lodging) incurred while performing services for a charity in an out-of-town location. However, two important criteria need to be met in order to get this deduction:1. You must perform services for the organization in an official capacity while you’re away from home.2. No
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Giving Your Time

March 25, 2009 rick
Although you may volunteer many hours working for a charitable organization, the value of your time is not deductible. However, if you incur expenses (e.g., travel costs to and from the charity’s location) related to volunteer work, those costs are deductible. Other out-of-pocket costs incurred on behalf of the charity may be deductible as well.
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Recordkeeping for Cash Donations

March 25, 2009 rick
For monetary (cash, check) gifts, regardless of the amount, you should have a canceled check (bank record) or a written communication from the donee showing:• The name of the donee organization,• The date of the contribution, and• The amount of the contribution.The recordkeeping requirements may not be satisfied by maintaining other written records. This means
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