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Monday, December 13, 2010

Tax Tip - Charitable Contributions Deductible in 2010

Only contributions actually made during the tax year are deductible.  'Actually made' does not include unpaid pledge amounts.  It does include gifts over which direct control has been relinquished as of December 31, 2010.  So, a check dated in 2010 and placed in the mail on December 31, 2010, or before, will count as a 2010 contribution although it may not be received by a charity/church or posted by a bank until 2011.  A more certain way is to physically deliver contributions with a date near December 31, 2010, to the charity/church by December 31, 2010.  It is important to have contributions posted to your giving record, as reporting by the charity/church constitutes the IRS required 'written acknowledgement' for gifts of $250 or more.

Non-cash donors of items valued at $500 or more must complete Form 8283 in their personal tax returns.  Generally, if a non-cash item is valued at more than $5,000, an appraisal is required.  In that case, Section B of Form 8283 must be completed.

Charitable contributions are deductible only if you itemize deductions using Form 1040, Schedule A.

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