Charitable tax deduction guidelines for “#GivingTuesday”

givingtuesdayIt’s Tuesday after Thanksgiving, the recently dubbed “Giving Tuesday” for charitable organizations. If you’re one of the millions of #GivingTuesday givers, or if you’re planning to donate money to any charity in the next few weeks to get your contributions in under the Dec. 31 tax wire, there are a few points your ShindelRock tax professional wants you to remember:

• To deduct any charitable donation, you must have a bank record, credit card statement or a written communication from the charity showing the name of the charity and the date and amount of the contribution. Bank records include canceled checks, bank or credit union statements, and credit card statements showing the name of the charity, the date, and the amount paid.

• Donations of money include those made in cash or by check, electronic funds transfer, credit card and payroll deductions. For payroll deductions, the taxpayer should retain a pay stub, a Form W-2 wage statement or other document furnished by their employer showing the total amount withheld for charity, along with the pledge card showing the name of the charity.

• For individuals, only taxpayers who itemize their deductions on Form 1040, Schedule A can claim deductions for charitable contributions. This deduction is not available to individuals who choose the standard deduction, including anyone who files a short form (Form 1040A or 1040EZ). A taxpayer will have a tax savings only if the total itemized deductions (mortgage interest, charitable contributions, state and local taxes, etc.) exceed the standard deduction.

• For all donations of property, including clothing and household items, obtain a receipt from the charity that includes the name of the charity, the date of the contribution, and a reasonably detailed description of the donated property.

If you’re #GivingTuesday, or any day in 2014, you should consult with your ShindelRock tax professional for implications and benefits associated with your gift.  Give today, and often!