ARE MY CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTIONS DEDUCTIBLE? ? Don't listen to rumors, know the law! If you donate items or money to charities, be sure to keep a list. There are several ways to save your receipts (like in a shoe box) but even keeping a running logbook in the kitchen junk drawer will suffice if you donate small amounts throughout the year.
Remember though, there are a few rules:
-Must be a qualified charity (you cannot use your donation to Uncle Billy's Talladega Fund)
-You must itemize deductions on Schedule A (yuck, but this is where that junk drawer list or shoe box of receipts comes in handy)
-If you receive a benefit in return (other than the warm-fuzzies) you will have to deduct the fair market value from your donation value
-Property donations are only as good as their current value (what would you get on eBay or Craigslist, not what you think you'd get) and there are special rules for cars, boats and other similar type assets
-Forms are needed if you donate more than $500 for the year (Form 8283 is what you or your tax preparer -- which could be me with one simple phone call -- will need to file)
-Proof of donation (if over $250, you'll need a written receipt from the charity)
If you need more information, or don't like my delivery method, or just plain want to read for yourself... Visit the IRS website for details https://go.usa.gov/xnhya
And start that shoebox of receipts, sticky-notes, napkins, or whatever you write on (not your hand). Then next year bring that to your tax preparer (again, call me) and you may be surprised at your donations or the amount you can deduct.