November kicks off the season of giving, and the donations you make to your favorite charities may also provide you some tax benefits. However, there are some guidelines you should keep in mind as you write those checks.
- Not all charities are formed alike. Just because an organization calls itself a charity does not mean your donation is deductible. Check out the IRS list of qualified organizations here.
- There is an income-based cap on the total amount of contributions you can deduct, generally up to 50 percent of your adjusted gross income, but there are 20 percent and 30 percent limitations in some cases.
- To deduct contributions on your 2017 tax return, you must make the contribution before the close of the 2017 tax year.
- If you wish to claim a deduction in cash or kind valued at $250 or more, you should retain written records of the contribution from the organization and, if possible, a related personal banking record to support your claim.
- If you claim over $500 in non-cash contributions for the year, you will need to complete an IRS Form 8283 and attach it to your tax return.
Improper itemized deductions are a red flag that can trigger an audit. For more information on taking tax deductions for charitable donations, click here.
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