The folks at IRS are pretty knowledgeable and year after year have tried to help the taxpayer sort out their problems in an efficient and productive manner. They know that this is not the best time to bring up the issue of tax responsibility on charitable contributions, but are doing so in good faith to help their fellow Americans, to make it easier for taxpayers to deduct charitable contributions come time to file their taxes. To do so would require good record keeping skills and an eye out for those elements of society that are always trying to make a petty dollar by taking advantage of other people’s kindness and love.
Any such individuals should be reported to the state charity official (to find out the number of the official in your state go to www.NASCOnet.org/stories/storyReader$8.)
• Contributions benefiting individuals are not deductible
• Any contribution you make, no matter how small, should be accompanied by some kind of receipt, so when you file your taxes, you have the receipt as evidence for your contribution
• Any amount that exceeds $75 payable to a charity makes it the responsibility of that charity to issue a written statement for the contributor outlining the amount of cash received and how much of it was in goods and services (with a good faith estimate of the goods). The statement should make it clear that only the amount that is worth more than the goods and services is deductible, not the whole.
• All taxpayers have to itemize deductions on Schedule A of their 1040 to claim deductions on their charitable contributions
• For any amount exceeding $250, an individual must get a written statement stating the charitable contribution, if in part cash and in part goods and services, they should be included also. This should be kept as evidence when filing taxes.
• To make sure that you are giving it to the right person or organization call the IRS Exempt Organizations’ toll-free phone number for customer assistance, 1-877-829-5500.
Philanthropy is not just for the social elite and rich folks; it’s for everyone with a little extra to give. Make this holiday season count and give to those who are a little less unfortunate then you are. IRS promises to make it a little easier on your tax bill if you do. Visit the IRS website for more information, www.irs.gov.