Disclaimer: This information is provided as a public service to highlight a matter of current interest. It does not constitute a full review of any subject matter nor act as a substitute for obtaining financial or legal advice from an accountant, financial advisor, or attorney.
In the United States, ever-changing tax laws can make it difficult for donors to know which gifts are tax-deductible and to what extent. We recommend checking how any changes to the tax code or your situation may impact your charitable dedication eligibility. Although the tax system is confusing, there is a range of free and paid resources to help you navigate the process and ensure that you are getting the benefits entitled to you.
The Internal Revenue Service
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is the best free resource for learning about changes to the tax code and what they mean for you. From the Interactive Tax Assistant to free filing, the IRS offers a wide range of valuable services and informative articles to help guide you through the tax process. Look to the IRS first to ensure you get accurate answers to all your questions, including the charitable tax deduction.
Hiring a qualified professional is essential if you lack the confidence to navigate the confusing tax process. At a minimum, look for a tax professional with an IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). Several subcategories of professions can hold a PTIN, so you must find the right type for your needs. The IRS provides a breakdown of these different types of tax professionals.
Records and Forms
If you are eligible for a charitable deduction, ensure that you have the proper records. This can include an acknowledgment letter from the charity or a credit card receipt for cash contributions. For a description of the recordkeeping rules for substantiating gifts to charity, see Publication 526. If you are filing your taxes, read each form and the associated instructions carefully and follow the directions precisely.