Keeping Your Accountant Happy

December 20, 2014  


It's the end of the year and people are in the spirit of giving! We all know its better to give than receive, and for more reasons than just that it makes you feel happy. There are also financial benefits for your philanthropy. In other words, giving can make you happier when talking with your accountant. A donation to a qualified charitable organization may entitle you to a deduction against your taxable income.

Remember, the discussion of tax matters here is for informational purposes only and doesn't count as advice from an accountant or a tax lawyer. You should consult with your independent, qualified tax professional for actual advice.

The good people at the Internal Revenue Services have a list of Eight Tips For Deducting Charitable Contributions here. You should read the full version, but here are some quick notes:

- A charitable organization is defined here.

- To get a charitable deduction, you must file Form 1040 and itemize deductions on Schedule A.

- If you make a cash donation of $250 or less, a canceled check or receipt show the charity's name, the amount and date of the transaction is sufficient.

- To qualify for the deduction, the transaction should be made to a charitable organization (typically registered as a 501(c)(3) legal entity) before December 31st of the same year.

There is current legislation being debated in the House that seeks to extend the window for deductions for your charitable giving past December 31st and until April 15 (Tax Day). But until then, make sure you get your giving in this year before the ball drops!

Can't decide where to give? There are after all literally thousands of options. That's where Givkwik can help. Simply sign up and fund your account with a tax-deductible donation to the Givkwik Fund (managed by a 501(c)(3) nonprofit financial services firm). Then take your time deciding next year as to how and where to distribute your charitable funds. With Givkwik, your donation can reach hundreds of charities with a single receipt to remember at tax time.