Maximizing Your Charitable Contributions

Here are some helpful points to consider when making charitable contributions to ensure you get the most for your contribution.

Verify nonprofit status

For charitable contributions to be deductible they must be made to qualified organizations. The organization must be recognized as a 501(c)(3) organization with the IRS in order for your contribution to qualify. Contributions made to individuals or political parties do not qualify for deduction.

Noncash contributions

In order to claim the maximum value for donated property, it is important to maintain descriptive records of what was donated, when it was donated, and the fair market value of the goods at the time of donation. Items must generally be in good condition in order to qualify for a deduction. In addition to your records, request receipts from all organizations you make contributions to; keep these with your tax documents.

Special rules

If you donated your vehicle this year, there are special rules that determine what the value of your contribution is. The value is generally the amount the organization is able to sell the vehicle for, however, there are some exceptions. If the value of the vehicle exceeds $250, the organization should send you written communication that will detail the amount to report on your tax return.

Mileage

Miles driven for charitable purposes are deductible. While the rate for charitable mileage is only 14 cents per mile, compared to the business rate of 53.5 cents per mile (for 2017), these miles are still an eligible deduction that many pass on.

Benefit from contribution

If you’ve received anything in return for your contribution, the value of your contribution must be reduced by the fair market value of the goods or services you received.

 

If you have any additional questions, please contact Brian Reed at 314-576-1350 or at breed@bwtpcpa.com.

Brian Reed is an Accounting Services member with BWTP P.C.

  1. Robert Clark Reply

    Thank You Brian – Most informative.

  2. Robert Clark Reply

    Hope you most more of these tax facts.

    • Bob Schmidt Reply

      Robert,

      We try and post a new blog post once a week with some new tips, tricks or facts about a variety of topics.

      Thanks for reading!

      -Bob

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