For Immediate Release
February 21, 2012
|CONTACT: Martha O’Gorman
Chief Marketing Officer
(800) 790-3863 ext. 8022
Tips for Charitable Giving
Liberty Tax Uncovers Some Lesser Known Charitable Deductions
(Virginia Beach, VA) Many taxpayers cheat themselves out of valuable
charitable deductions by underestimating the value of items given away, or not
hanging onto receipts.
“You cannot deduct the value of your time, but if you’re a
volunteer, you can deduct your out-of-pocket expenses and volunteer mileage at
14 cents a mile,” said John Hewitt, CEO of Liberty Tax Service.
Here’s a Liberty Tax
checklist of tips for giving to charities, and receiving the greatest tax
Keep better records:
The charitable contribution will be disallowed for any monetary contributions
unless the donor maintains a record of the contribution. This applies to any
contribution of money, regardless of the amount. Be
sure that you have bank records, cancelled checks or written
acknowledgements for all cash contributions that show the name of the
charitable organization, the date and the amount of the contribution. For monetary donations or items over $250 in
a single donation, the IRS requires an additional written acknowledgement from
the organization. Taxpayers claiming
over $500 for all contributed property must complete and file Form 8283, Noncash Charitable Contributions.
Hold onto your pledge
cards: Taxpayers who have had charitable contributions deducted from their
paychecks are required to hold onto their pledge cards from the charity, pay
stubs, and their Form W-2 or other employer information that
states the total amount of donation. Be
sure to have bank records, cancelled checks or written acknowledgements for
all cash contributions that show the name of the charitable organization, the
date and the amount of the contribution.
Figure and declare the full value of the donated item: When declaring the value of donated clothing or items
for tax purposes, determine the fair market value. This can be the price the item might sell for
at a garage sale or thrift store. IRS Publication 561 Determining the Value of Donated Property is a good source to
use. For monetary donations or items
over $250 in a single donation, the IRS requires an additional written
acknowledgement from the organization.
Taxpayers claiming over $500 for all contributed property must complete
and file Form 8283, Noncash Charitable Contributions.
Be sure the charity is recognized as legitimate by the
IRS: Check that your donations are
made to a charity or non-profit organization that the IRS considers
legitimate. Approved non-profits include
those whose focus is religious, charitable, educational, literacy, preventing
cruelty to children and animals, or serving military veterans. Even some Mexican and Israeli
charities are eligible through treaties with those countries.
generally deduct up to half of their adjusted gross income in one tax year: The IRS allows
generous taxpayers to carryover deductions that exceed their charitable
contribution amounts for up to five years.
Deduct your mileage
or actual costs of transportation and from charitable events:
Charitable mileage is deductible in 2011 and 2012 at 14
cents a mile.
foreign exchange student: Taxpayers who have written agreements to host students may
be able to deduct $50 a month for expenses.
Uniform maintenance is deductible: If uniforms are
required for volunteer service, the costs of cleaning and maintaining them are
tax deductible as a charitable contribution.
About Liberty Tax Service
Liberty Tax Service is the fastest-growing
retail tax preparation company in the industry’s history. Founded in 1997 by CEO John T. Hewitt, a
pioneer in the tax industry, Liberty Tax Service has prepared over 9,000,000
individual income tax returns. With 42 years of tax industry experience, Hewitt
stands as the most experienced CEO in the tax preparation business, having also
founded Jackson Hewitt Tax Service.