Charitable donations and Tax refunds

File taxes online

It is possible for donations to attract tax refunds at the same time as supporting a worthy cause. There are a number of issues to be aware of when claiming charitable donations for a tax refund. There are a number of publishers who have noted that adopting some practices can lead to a decent sized refund.


Jennifer Blanke

Charitable Donation Tip #1:

Have a large garbage bag or box accessible to put things in throughout the month. If you wait until it is time to clean out, you will be overwhelmed and possibly never gather items to donate. I am amazed at how many people throw good, usable items in the trash because they didn’t want to deal with it. Some charities will send you a bag periodically to use for your donations.

Charitable Donation Tip #2:

Keep track of the specific items you donate. I promise you that when tax time comes around, you will not remember the specific items that you donated – at least not everything! As I am gathering items in a trash bag, I get a piece of notebook paper and write down everything I put in there. You will even need to say if it is for a man, woman, boy, girl so, be sure to make note of that too. Then keep the paper in the top of the bag until it is full and when you get the receipt from the charity just staple them together and place in your already prepared file. See tip #3.

Charitable Donation Tip #3:

Keep a file labeled Charitable Donations Tax Year ______. This will help you to keep everything together instead of possibly getting misplaced. The charity organization will give you a receipt, but if you want to benefit from your donation, you will need to keep track of every single item that you donate.

Charitable Donation Tip #4:

ItsDeductible is a fantastic program to keep track of your donations throughout the year. I use the TurboTax Deluxe version to do my taxes and ItsDeductible comes free with it. In fact, if you file using TurboTax, it is easiest to use ItsDeductible because once charitable donation items are entered, the information transfers right to your tax return. You can even log in any time throughout the year, enter the items you donate, and when tax time comes, you are done with this aspect of your deductions. You can pay a fee to use the ItsDeductible program if you do not get it free from TurboTax.

Charitable Donation Tip #5:

Make sure your name is on a local charity’s list of donors. Donating one time usually gets you on the list and they will call you, but if you would like to choose a specific charity, then just do some research. Search the charities in your town or city. There are also national charities that may have locations in your area such as Vietnam Veterans of America, Goodwill, or Salvation Army.

Charitable Donation Tip #6:

Find out if they pick up or if you will have to drop off the items at a specific location. This is good to know especially if you cannot drive, list heavy items, or have little children. I find that I make larger donations more frequently when I schedule a pickup. I just have to place the labeled bags of items on my porch or driveway the night before and find the receipt tucked in my front door handle when they pick up the donation.


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