And who can blame them, Christmas is all about giving. In fact, every year I donate to worthy causes in my own community. There are just so many worthy causes out there, all you really have to do is pick one.
North Highlands, CA (PRWEB) December 11, 2007
To encourage donations to worthy causes and help taxpayers properly claim the resulting deductions and avoid problems down-the-line with the IRS, Roni Deutch put together a list of advice for making charitable contributions this holiday season.
"This time of year, people usually get into the holiday spirit and become much more charitable," claims Ms. Deutch. "And who can blame them, Christmas is all about giving. In fact, every year I donate to worthy causes in my own community. There are just so many worthy causes out there, all you really have to do is pick one."
If you need help finding a charitable cause, Ms. Deutch encourages donations to her top five (5) charitable causes (click on links for more information):
Hannah Rose Foundation
Child Abuse Prevention Council of Place County
University of California, Berkeley Women's Softball Team
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA)
Ms. Deutch also points out that even "the Grinch" - the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) - encourages taxpayers to make donations. Making donations may provide you with valuable tax deductions - so long as you do them right.
"In my experience, I have seen many people make little mistakes when claiming these contributions and, as incredible as this may seem, they wind-up in trouble with the taxman," states the Tax Lady.
So to help taxpayers nationwide this holiday season, Roni Deutch compiled the following list of tips for any one looking to make a donation:
Donate Your Vehicle
Selling a car can be stressful for any one, especially during the busy holiday season. However, if you donate your car you can be guaranteed a sizeable deduction on your income tax return. You can deduct the fair market value of the car, which the IRS defines as the amount that the vehicle would sell for.
"Just so you know, the IRS is on the look-out for abuses of this deduction," points out Ms. Deutch. "If you want to be safe, you should save a classified ad showing similar vehicles for sale."
If you claim an excessive amount for your vehicle it will send a red flag to the IRS and might result in an audit.
Make Stock Donations
If you have any publicly traded stock that has gone up in value, you can donate the stock to charity and get a charitable deduction for the full value of the stock. By doing so you can avoid paying capital gain taxes on the stock, but you must give the stock directly to the charity. If you sell the stock then donate the money you will still have to pay capital gains taxes.
Deduct the Difference
If you pay an excessive amount to purchase goods or services from a charity, you can deduct the difference between the item's fair market value and what you actually paid.
"This tip is especially handy during the holiday season," says Ms. Deutch. "For example, if you purchase a Christmas tree from a Boy Scouts Troop for $150, but the value of the tree is only $50, then you can deduct the $100 difference."
Similarly, if you attend a charitable holiday dinner event you can deduct the difference between what you donated and the market value of the meal.
Remember Paycheck Donations
Many businesses allow wage earners to make deductions directly out of their paychecks. If you make these donations, do not forget to tally them up at the end of the year and include them in your income tax returns.
Deduct Excess Donations Next Year
The IRS sets a maximum deductible charitable contribution of 50% of your adjusted gross income (AGI). Although individuals typically do not donate more than half of their AGI to charity, if a taxpayer comes across this problem, the taxpayer can always carry the excess forward for up to five (5) years.
Make Last Minute Donations Online
If you want to make additional donations to lower your taxable income at the end of the year, you can always make last minute donations online. Numerous charities accept donations online including the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity, and the Make a Wish Foundation, among others.
Get the Proper Documentation
If you want to deduct your charitable contributions on your tax returns, you need to make sure you have the proper documentation.
"If the IRS audits you, they are going to want to see receipts and canceled checks for all charitable deductions," says Ms. Deutch.
Make sure to read up on the IRS's requirements so that you are prepared for an audit, even if you never are.
About Roni Deutch, A Professional Tax Corporation
Roni Deutch, A Professional Tax Corporation is a nationally recognized law firm that has been helping clients find solutions to their back tax liabilities for over sixteen years. To find out more about the firm or its IRS tax relief services, visit their website at RoniDeutch.com or call 1-888-TAX-LADY. To learn more about tax attorney Roni Deutch you can visit her blog, or Avvo profile.
Mathew Guiver, Search Engine Marketing Analyst
Roni Deutch, A Professional Tax Corporation
877-232-8477 Ext. 1914
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