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West Holt Medical
Nine Tips on
Deducting Charitable Contributions from the IRS
Giving to charity may make you feel good and help you
lower your tax bill. The IRS offers these nine tips to
help ensure your contributions pay off on your tax
1. If you want a tax deduction, you must donate to a
qualified charitable organization. You cannot deduct
contributions you make to either an individual, a
political organization or a political candidate. Visit
www.irs.gov to see a list of qualified charitable
2. You must file Form 1040 and itemize your deductions
on Schedule A. If your total deduction for all noncash
contributions for the year is more than $500, you must
also file Form 8283, Noncash Charitable Contributions,
with your tax return.
3. If you receive a benefit of some kind in return for
your contribution, you can only deduct the amount that
exceeds the fair market value of the benefit you
received. Examples of benefits you may receive in return
for your contribution include merchandise, tickets to an
event or other goods and services.
4. Donations of stock or other non-cash property are
usually valued at fair market value. Used clothing and
household items generally must be in good condition to
be deductible. Special rules apply to vehicle donations.
5. Fair market value is generally the price at which
someone can sell the property.
6. You must have a written record about your donation in
order to deduct any cash gift, regardless of the amount.
Cash contributions include those made by check or other
monetary methods. That written record can be a written
statement from the organization, a bank record or a
payroll deduction record that substantiates your
donation. That documentation should include the name of
the organization, the date and amount of the
contribution. A telephone bill meets this requirement
for text donations if it shows this same information.
7. To claim a deduction for gifts of cash or property
worth $250 or more, you must have a written statement
from the qualified organization. The statement must show
the amount of the cash or a description of any property
given. It must also state whether the organization
provided any goods or services in exchange for the gift.
8. You may use the same document to meet the requirement
for a written statement for cash gifts and the
requirement for a written acknowledgement for
contributions of $250 or more.
9. If you donate one item or a group of similar items
that are valued at more than $5,000, you must also
complete Section B of Form 8283. This section generally
requires an appraisal by a qualified appraiser.
For more information on charitable contributions, see
Publication 526, Charitable Contributions. For
information about noncash contributions, see Publication
561, Determining the Value of Donated Property. Forms
and publications are available at IRS.gov or by calling
produced by the IRS:
West Holt Medical Services Foundation
PO Box 214, 313 West Pearl Street, Atkinson, NE 68713
402.925.1956 ~ Like us on Facebook