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Quick Tips

Give Hope for the Holidays and Claim a Deduction, Too

You love your holiday traditions, but this may be the year to create some new ones. Consider making donations to charities instead of buying gifts for family and friends. Your donation can create hope — a gift that will last well beyond the holidays.
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Think about all the people on your holiday shopping list and all that’s near and dear to them. For example, does your Mom love animals? Make a donation to a charity that supports her passion. Is a loved one struggling with an illness? Make a donation to a charity that’s working for a cure. The idea is to choose a charity that has meaning to the recipient and you.

A survey by Extra-Special Events revealed how people feel about donating:
• 61% of respondents state the best reasons to make a donation is in memoriam or in honor of a loved one.
• 71% are thankful, happy or fulfilled when they RECEIVE a charitable donation as a gift.

There are hundreds of worthwhile charities, but to find out which ones are reputable, check The American Institute of Philanthropy’s top-rated charities. Or, check the Wise Giving Alliance for their list of accredited charities.

Donations and Tax Benefits
While your holiday charity donations are given in the spirit of helping others, they could benefit YOU at tax time.

• First, find out if the organization qualifies for a tax write-off by checking The Internal Revenue Service’s guidelines.

• Keep accurate records. Many tax-exempt charities will give you a receipt with your donation, but it’s your responsibility to get the proof you need to claim a deduction.

• You must itemize your deductions instead of choosing the standard federal and state deductions. Check the IRS website for details on how to itemize.

• Be sure to consult a qualified tax professional for help with this and any other tax-related matters.

When you give a meaningful donation, you spread joy to others. And that feeling can warm your heart all winter long.
 
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