Making End of the Tax Year Donations

As the last days of 2010 tick down, we wanted to pass along a reminder to our US readers that these are also the last days for making charitable donations. If you itemize your taxes, these charitable donations–including ones to 501 (c)(3) animal welfare organizations–can turn into deductions. Animal welfare charities are struggling in these tough economic times so donations of all sizes are in real need.

When you make a donation–whether financial or in donated items–be sure to get a receipt. Here’s what the IRS says about receipts for these donations:

Under a new recordkeeping rule effective for all cash, check, electronic funds transfers, credit card charges, or other monetary contributions of any amount made in taxable years beginning after August 17, 2006, the donor must obtain and keep a bank record or a written communication from the donee as a record of the contribution. Written records prepared by the donor (such as check registers or personal notations) are no longer sufficient to support charitable contributions. Bank records for this recordkeeping requirement include bank or credit union statements, canceled checks, or credit card statements. They must show the date paid or posted, the name of the charity, and the amount of the payment.

Here’s an IRS video about charitable contributions. [If reading this in our newsletter, click here to view video.]

For more information on charitable donations and your US income taxes, see “Sustaining Charitable Donations.” At the end of that page, you’ll find a link to IRS Publication 526, Charitable Contributions, a downloadable PDF.

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About Paris Permenter

Paris Permenter is the founder and co-publisher of LT Media Group LLC. Along with her husband, John Bigley, she edits DogTipper.com, CatTipper.com, and has authored over 30 books on pets and travel.