Do-Gooder Tax Tips

Part of living the kynd life is doing good, and we hope this info will be useful to those of you who contribute financially to charitable organizations. The following advice for US taxpayers comes from the scary so-and-sos Internal Revenue Service by way of the Dollar Stretcher:

Tax Information for Charitable Donors
What you should know before filing

Donors and charities should keep in mind tax laws that may affect them and their contributions:

  • Taxpayers may claim a deduction for contributions to charitable organizations only if they itemize deductions on Schedule A of their Form 1040 individual income tax return.
  • The public can find out whether a particular organization is qualified to receive tax-deductible contributions by calling the IRS Exempt Organizations toll-free phone number for customer assistance, 1.877.829.5500, or by checking the IRS Web site.
  • Those who itemize deductions for contributions on their tax return must have evidence of a donation. Cancelled checks or credit card receipts offer the best evidence, but contemporaneous notes of small cash contributions are normally sufficient.
  • For each single contribution of $250 or more to a charity, the donor must obtain a written statement, acknowledging the contribution amount and a description of any goods or services provided in exchange for the contribution. Donors must have the statement when they file their return.
  • When a charitable organization receives a payment of more than $75 that is partly a contribution and partly for goods and services, it generally must give the donor a written statement. The statement must say that only the amount that is more than the goods and services received is deductible, and must include a good faith estimate of their value.
  • Contributions earmarked for specified individuals are not deductible. Persons who have evidence that contributions are being solicited for fraudulent purposes should contact their state charity official, who is often located in the attorney general’s office. Check out a list of state charity official offices and a