Top 7 Year-End Charitable Donations that are NOT Tax-Deductible

AVOID THE IRS GRINCH who wants to steal your tax-deductions! Here's a list of the top "donations" and charitable "contributions" that are NOT tax-deductible.
By: Brian Klut
 
 
Tips to Avoid the IRS Grinch
Tips to Avoid the IRS Grinch
 
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Tags:
* Giving
* Donations
* Contributions
* Irs
* Generosity
* Church
* Offerings

Industrys:
* Accounting
* Non-profit
* Religion

Location:
* Colorado Springs - Colorado - US

Dec. 17, 2010 - PRLog -- Tis the season for tax-deductible giving. Over 150 million Americans are expected to make year-end donations of over $75 billion dollars to help hurting charities and churches and those they serve.

If you don't want the IRS Grinch (or your tax preparer or accountant) to bite you in April over your December year-end donations, here's what you need to know:

1. CASH GIFTS are NOT tax-deductible.

Cash gifts are only deductible if they have been put in an envelope with your name on it so the gift can be properly receipted by the charity or church.

2. CHECKS DATED DECEMBER 31 st are NOT tax-deductible if given on January 1 st or later.

Sunday falls on January 2nd this year. According to IRS rules, checks given in the offering plates of 350,000 churches in America on Sunday, January 2nd must be counted as a gift in the new year even if someone put December 31 st as the date on the check. But any donations make to a church or charity made online on their website or at www.networkforgood.org on December 31 st are tax-deductible.

3. VOLUNTEER HOURS are NOT tax-deductible.

No matter how much time or services a person donates time to their favorite charities, their time is NOT tax-deductible as a donation. But if you document miles driven in service of charitable organizations, you can deduct 14 cents per mile.

4. RAFFLE TICKETS, DINNERS, CARNIVAL, AND BINGO EXPENSES are NOT tax-deductible.

Just because someone helps a tax-exempt organization does not mean all financial transactions are tax-deductible.

5. PRODUCTS purchased from charities are NOT 100% tax-deductible.

Many charities sell books, magazines, CD's, food, seeds, and many other things. One cannot deduct the full amount paid to a charity for products. If the charity charges $10 for a box of candy that normally sells for $8, only $2 can be claimed as a charitable contribution. Some charities will accept donations for products, but will issue you a receipt you can use that displays the value of the product and how much can be claimed as a donation.

6. ANY MONEY given to individuals is NOT tax-deductible.

While it is a good thing to help a family in need or religious workers, no cash or checks made out to individuals are tax-deductible. Only gifts that are given directly to an IRS registered organizations and their official programs are tax-deductible. For example, you can give money to a church's benevolence program to help people in need, but you cannot mandate who they give it to and expect a tax-deductible receipt from the church.

7. GIFTS-IN-KIND are NOT tax-deductible without a form or letter from the charity that they received the items.

Be aware that charities are NOT allowed to issue a donation receipt for any stated "value" of gifts-in-kind. For example, if you could donate furniture to a homeless shelter, you cannot ask them for a receipt saying the furniture is worth $500. They can only give you a form or letter saying they received the item(s). It is the donor's responsibility to document how they arrived at the value of the donation for the gifts-in-kind they gave. When donating item to Goodwill and Salvation Army, make sure you get one of their donation acknowledgement forms that you can calculate the value of what you donated. To determine the value of your donated goods, go to: http://www.bankrate.com/finance/money-guides/tax-guide-fo...

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Brian Kluth is known as "America's Giving Guy" and he is frequently quoted or interviewed for news casts, talk shows, and articles (including NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Washington Times, AP-Associated Press, NPR-National Public Radio, Kiplingers, Reuters, and hundreds of other publications).  He is also a Radio Speaker for www.GiveWithJoy.org, and Bestselling Author of the 40 Day Journey to a More Generous Life.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Brian Kluth is known as "America's Giving Guy" and he is frequently quoted or interviewed for news casts, talk shows, and articles (including NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Washington Times, AP-Associated Press, NPR-National Public Radio, Kiplingers, Reuters, and hundreds of other publications). He is also a Radio Speaker for www.GiveWithJoy.org, and Bestselling Author of the 40 Day Journey to a More Generous Life.
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Tags:Year-end, Giving, Donations, Contributions, End Of Year, Irs, Generosity, Church, Offerings
Industry:Accounting, Non-profit, Religion
Location:Colorado Springs - Colorado - United States
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