As Americans do their taxes each year, many experience uncertain outcomes: additional taxes owed or a tax return. A tax return can be an unplanned windfall. Are you getting a tax return this year? If your budget assumed that your taxes were paid correctly throughout the year, a tax return is often viewed as “extra” money you can use as you please. While there are many things for you to buy or save for with this money, we urge you to consider donating your tax return if you can afford to do so.
Reasons to Donate Your Tax Return
Joy: Donating makes you happy. What better use is there for ‘fun money’ than to bring joy to yourself while helping others through a charity you believe in?
Impact: Adding your tax return money to your giving budget boosts your overall giving for the year, creating the opportunity to increase your impact on the causes you care about most.
A virtuous cycle: Your gift to a qualified charity can be counted toward your charitable tax dedication when you file your taxes next year, increasing your return and creating a virtuous cycle. (Learn what qualifies.)
How to Donate Your Tax Return
Choose a charity: While waiting to receive your tax return from the IRS, decide how it will best be spent. If you choose to support a charity, it is time to select which one will be the recipient. You may choose to increase your regular donation to a charity you already have a relationship with. If you want to find a new charity to support or vet a charity that you have in mind, you can use Charity Navigator search.
Make your donation: Once you have received your tax return, waste no time! You can donate directly to the organization through your preferred payment method or use The Giving Basket to make your donation while controlling how much of your personal information you share.
Get ready for next tax season: Keep your receipt to claim the donation on next year’s taxes and increase the likelihood of another tax return.
Tax season can be a source of stress, but donating your tax return is an opportunity to counter some of that stress with the joy of giving. If you receive a tax return this your or in years to come, consider donating it to make an impact for one of your favorite causes.