Holiday season encourages charitable giving. If you give a gift to your favorite charity and want to claim it as a tax deduction, consider these tips before you make a donation.

  1. Give to qualified charities. Gifts that are given to charities that aren’t qualified cannot be deducted from your taxes. Gifts that are given to churches, synagogues, temples, mosques and government agencies are also considered qualified gifts. You can use this tool to see if the group you wish to donate to is qualified.
  2. Keep a record of all cash gifts. Gifts made in cash or by check, electronic funds transfer, credit card or payroll deduction are all considered gifts of money. Without a bank record of written statement from the charity you will not be able to deduct any gift money on your tax return.
  3. Household goods must be in good condition. Items like furniture, electronics, appliances and linens must be in good condition to be claimed on your taxes. Including a qualified appraisal of an item over $500 removes the need to meet the good condition standard.
  4. Additional records required. Acknowledgement from a charity is required for any donation surpassing a $250 value. This statement is needed in addition to the records required for claiming gifts of money on your tax return.

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