As the countdown to April 15th hits the home stretch, the IRS has published a series of articles guiding taxpayers through some of the trickier filing issues. One of our favorites discusses charitable giving and the importance of maintaining good records.

Among the key takeaways:

  • Make sure the entity you’re giving to is a qualified organization. Keep in mind that an organization being a nonprofit doesn’t necessarily mean that a gift will be deductible. The IRS’s Select Check tool is a great resource for determining whether the organization you’re thinking about donating to is eligible to receive tax-deductible donations.
  • Keep in mind donors must have a written acknowledgement of any gift over $250. So when you receive a letter from a charity acknowledging your gift, it’s not just a receipt – make sure you put it in the proverbial (or often literal) shoe box for tax time!
  • Rules may differ depending on the substance of the donation. Check out the article for tips on donations of cash, vehicles, clothing, and others.
  • Finally, keep in mind the timing requirements. A gift must have been made in 2014 to be deducted on the 2014 tax return; so if you pledged money but didn’t write the check or charge the card, it isn’t deductible.

Head on over to the IRS article linked above for more details.

And as always, know that we’re always here to help with any tax-time questions about donations (or anything else)!