In addition to our multiple charitable events each year, we can help you to help others. In addition to the positive feelings from helping others, charitable giving can also help your tax situation. While we at Valley Oak believe gifts to those less fortunate should be motivated by altruism, we also believe you should know that great benefits exist for those who give.

A gift to a qualified charitable organization may entitle you to a charitable contribution deduction against your income tax, as long as you itemize deductions. You must itemize in order to take a charitable deduction. Make sure that if you itemize, your total deductions are greater than the standard deduction. If they’re not, stick with the standard deduction.

Ensure that you keep good written records. Your written records must indicate the name of the charitable organization, the date of your contribution and the amount you gave. Charitable organizations will often provide donors with written letters of acknowledgment or receipts. The IRS can disallow charitable donations of $250 or more if you don’t have a written acknowledgment from the charity to document your gift. If you make more than one contribution over this amount, you’ll need a separate acknowledgment for each one or the single acknowledgment must list each donation in detail with the date you made them.

Remember, it’s always better to give than receive. The glory of charitable donations is that you give and receive at the same time.

The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.  This information is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax advice.  We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax advisor.