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How to Find a Job Over the Holidays

How to Find a Job Over the Holidays

Associated Press

December 11, 2009

GETTING BACK FROM CHARITY:

Sure, you give to charity because you’re compassionate. All the same, you want to make sure you get federal tax rewards for your year-end contributions.

“Generosity is its own reward, but that doesn’t mean you should miss out on the tax benefits of your gifts,” said Justin Ransome, a partner in the national tax office for the accounting firm Grant Thornton LLP. “Many people don’t realize how detailed the charitable giving rules actually are.”

Grant Thornton gives these tips for claiming a charitable contribution deduction on a tax return:

- For contributions of cash or property, always get a receipt from the charity. For contributions of property, the receipt will need to reflect the fair value of the property donated.

- Reporting forms can vary depending on how large your donation is. For example, if you have made a gift of property in excess of $500, you must file Form 8283. If the gift of property is in excess of $500,000, a qualified appraisal must be attached to your income tax return.

- Understand that deductions are only given up to a certain percentage of your adjusted gross income – usually 20 percent to 50 percent. You can carry over the excess amount for the next five years.

- Make sure your donations are made to an organization qualified to receive deductible contributions. The Web site for the Internal Revenue Service lists most qualified organizations. Political groups that participate in campaigns or attempt to influence legislation are not qualified.

- Do not include raffle tickets or bingo. Tickets to fundraising events can be deducted if the charity provides a monetary value for the event that’s less than what you paid.