Deducting Charitable Donations

Deducting Charitable Donations

America is very generous to charitable organizations. Forbes estimates that in 2013 Americans gave over $300 billion to more than one million non-profits.

As you know, gifts to charities may be deductible on your income taxes. But you have to have the proper documentation, and that isn’t as straightforward as you might think. The proper documentation depends on several factors, including the size of the gift and whether it is in cash.

Important Tips for Deducting Charitable Donations

Here are some things to keep in mind if you want to deduct a gift to a charitable organization:

  • The organization must qualify as a charity under IRS rules (you can check if it does on the IRS website)
  • If you donate less than $250 in cash, you must have a canceled check, credit card statement or similar record
  • If your cash gift is $250 or more, you must also have a written acknowledgement from the charity
  • If a non-cash gift is more worth than $500, you must fill out Form 8283 and attach it to your return
  • If your non-cash gift is worth more than $5,000, you will need a qualified appraisal of the property given

Professional Deduction Advice

There are lots of other rules involving deductions of charitable donations. If you have any questions give us a call at 214-545-3965 or email [email protected] for detailed guidance. We can also help you structure planned gifts through a will or a trust. You don’t want to wait until the return is due to start pulling together all the documentation.