Giving is a great holiday activity, made even better when you can get a tax deduction for your charity. In order to claim your gifts, there are a few rules you need to follow. Here are the IRS’s tips for year-end charitable gifts.

  • Charities must be qualified. You can give to any organization you like, but in order to claim a deduction on the gift, the charity must be qualified. Qualified charities include 401(c)(3) organizations, churches, synagogues, temples, mosques, and government agencies. If you aren’t sure if  your charity qualifies,  you can look it up on the IRS Select Check tool.
  • For monetary donations, gifts can be made by cash, check, electronic funds transfer, credit card, or payroll deduction. You’ll need to have a bank record or written statement from the charity. For payroll deductions, you’ll need a pay stub, a Form W-2 wage statement, or other document from your employer showing the total amount withheld for charity, along with the pledge card showing the name of the charity.
  • You can deduct gifts of household goods. If you’re donating items to The Salvation Army or other charity, you can claim their value as long as they are in good condition. You’ll need a receipt from the organization. 
  • If you’re donating $250 or more to an organization, you’ll need an acknowledgement letter from the charity.
  • You can deduct donations when you make them — even if they’re paid via credit card. Checks mailed by December 31st also count for 2014.
  • There are additional rules if you donate a car, boat, or airplane. You can check out the rules on the IRS’s website.

If you have questions about your end-of-the-year donations, feel free to give me a call at (864) 836-3136.