BOSTON (CBS) – Many people make gifts to charity each year especially during the holiday season. There are several tax rules that you should know about before you give. The following are suggestions from the IRS on giving.
- Qualified charities. You can only deduct gifts you give to qualified charities. Use the IRS Select Check tool to see if the group you give to is qualified. You can deduct donations you give to churches, synagogues, temples and government agencies.
- Monetary donations. Gifts of money include those made in cash, by check, electronic funds transfer, credit card and payroll deduction. You must have a bank record or a written statement from the charity to deduct any gift of money on your tax return. This is true regardless of the amount of the gift. The statement must show the name of the charity and the date and amount of the contribution.
- Household goods. Household items include furniture, furnishings, electronics, appliances and linens. If you donate clothing and household items to charity, they generally must be in at least good used condition to claim a tax deduction.
- Records required. You must get an acknowledgment from a charity for each deductible donation (either money or property) of $250 or more. Additional rules apply to the statement for gifts of that amount. This statement is in addition to the records required for deducting cash gifts.
- Year-end gifts. You can deduct contributions in the year you make them. If you charge your gift to a credit card before the end of the year it will count for 2015. This is true even if you don’t pay the credit card bill until 2016. Also, a check will count for this year as long as you mail it in this year.
- Special rules. Special rules apply if you give a car, boat or airplane to charity. For more information, visit IRS.gov.
Additional IRS Resources:
- Tax Topic 506, Charitable Contributions
- Publication 526, Charitable Contributions.
- Publication 561, Determining the Value of Donated Property
- Form 8283, Noncash Charitable Contributions
- Form 1098-C, Contributions of Motor Vehicles, Boats, and Airplanes
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