2015 Year End Charitable Gifts

Friday, December 18, 2015

It’s that time of year when you may start thinking about end of the year gift giving.  The IRS recommends for taxpayers who want to make a gift to charity by year’s end to be aware of the legal tax law provisions that may have changed. 

Donations of household Items such as clothing, furniture, and electronics, such as appliances need to be in good used condition in order to receive a tax-deductible letter for tax purposes. If your total donation amount is worth more than $500 you should include a qualified appraisal of the donation items which you include as a document with your tax return. The Strategic Tax Lawyers, LA-based tax attorneys recommend that all taxpayers who make gifts or donations to charity keep the donation documents if the amount is over $250.  This document should list a description of all the donated items. 

Any cash, check, or credit card donations will need to have either a bank record included. This can be a canceled check or credit card statement which should include the name of the charity, donation date, and contribution amount.  We recommend for all taxpayers to keep this information as proof of your gift giving, as the documentation is needed for tax purposes.  Remember, any gift or donation over the amount of $250 needs an acknowledgment letter from the charity to serve as proof of a charitable gift. The IRS requires this type of documentation. 

In addition, the Strategic Tax Lawyers (LA Tax Attorneys) strongly recommend for taxpayers to check if the charity is tax-deductible.  A tax-deductible status, such as a 501(c)(3) allows the organization to be eligible to receive donations. The easiest way to check for this information is to search online on the IRS website or you can call the IRS directly to confirm charity status.  You can find a list online that indicates the names of organizations that are eligible to receive tax-deductible donations. It’s also important to note that religious institutions and most government agencies are able to receive contributions.

Your end of the gifts and contributions can be deducted during the tax year they are donated. For example, if you give a donation on your credit card by the end of December 31, 2015, it will count for your 2015 taxes even though your credit card statement will be issued in 2016. 

The Strategic Tax Attorneys strongly urge taxpayers to claim deductions for their charitable contributions and have the proof and documentation readily available for their tax preparers. Tax professionals can’t emphasize this bit of information enough since it is important to have documentation for donations, which can include furniture, clothing, toys, vehicles, etc.  All documentation needs to include the charity’s name, the date the contribution was made and a description of the donated item(s).  If the value of the donation is over $250, more documentation will be needed.  

The Strategic Tax Lawyers are staffed with credible tax attorneys and attorneys dealing with everything from amnesty and tax relief to annual giving.  The firm has documented years of experience winning cases and negotiating with the opposing side.  Clients always receive the best results with the Strategic Tax Lawyers on their side. Call the Strategic Tax Lawyers at (800) 669-4775 for a free case consultation.