Wanna feel like Steve in this Jackson Hewitt commercial???….File your taxes and include your tax-deductible donations, that’s how!
Raise your hand if you received your W-2 form in the mail this month. \o/ Good stuff! Well, I thought I’d send you a little reminder not to forget to add your tax-deductible items to your tax returns. Yes, those.
Think back over 2011 to all the cash and non-cash items you donated to charitable causes. Clothes? Toys for Tots donation? Tithes/Offerings? Cost of services donated to a non-profit? Now is the time to calculate the value of those donations and get your tax break! Here’s an updated post from August about getting those tax breaks we all deserve!
Remember, file early and ON TIME!…
Updated from Friends of Ebonie on 8/29/2012:
…..When filing your taxes charitable donations are the best gifts you can give to yourself!- besides owning a home, of course. You don’t have to be rich for charitable donations to be a tax break. The government recognizes the sacrifice you are making by giving to those less fortunate by giving you a break come tax season. You must itemize your gifts and give a certain amount based on your income for it to really impact your taxes! Just make sure you are donating to a legitimately filed and documented 501(c)(3) organization. Let’s take a look at two major ways to give so you can start to get right for 2011 and prepare for 2012:
1. Non-Cash Contributions
Otherwise known as clothing, furniture and, yes, even old car donations, non-cash donations are easy to give because you have them already in your possession. Organizations such as Goodwill or Salvation Army are best known for requesting new and gently- used items. Just like when you leave a store make sure you get a receipt for the value of your donation. Most likely when you file your taxes you won’t need the receipt but if the donation is over $250 you will want to have one just in case you are audited. Hey, you never know! Oh, and my rule with donating clothing is simple: Just because I don’t want it doesn’t mean that it has to look like it. Only give items you would be proud to still wear if you had room in your closet. If it’s too worn or soiled, just chuck it.
2. Cash Contributions
Don’t be afraid to give the green! The greater your contributions, the greater the tax deductions. Tax-deductible cash donations include fundraiser tickets, raffle or silent auction payments, city park or museum memberships, church tithes and offerings, etc. Remember, political donations do not count! In lieu of a receipt for tax verification, you will usually get a letter and or statement from the organization thanking you for your donation and its total. If you don’t get one, contact the organization’s development office. They should be happy to get you letter.
Once you’ve collected all of your non-cash and cash donation receipts walk them down to your tax person along with your 1040 form and watch your taxable income and tax bill decrease right before your eyes. So yes, the $50 ticket for your girlfriend’s fundraiser, the $10 donation to your co-worker’s “Walk for a Cause” (for the third time this year) and the $500 worth of clothing donated to Dress for Success will surely do you some good come April 17th.<—-Yes, that is the new 2012 filing deadline.
When it’s all said and done, you’ll feel like Steve AND Sarah at Jackson Hewitt! ( I LOVE these commercials! Can’t you tell! LOL!)
Until next week….Do Good!!!