In our monthly column from Karen Minogue, Waccamaw Wisdom, we’ll unpack the latest in philanthropy and offer tips to make your giving more effective. Topic suggestions welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At Waccamaw Community Foundation, we promote and facilitate your charitable giving to the causes and organizations you care most about. As just one of over 700 community foundations in the United States, we also provide the maximum available tax deduction allowed by federal tax laws for charitable contributions. Since tax season is just wrapping up, and since charitable tax planning strategies may be of interest to you, we’d like to share a few tips with you on deducting charitable gifts to get ahead of the game for next year – or squeeze in some last minute benefits this year!
Deducting Charitable Gifts:
To be deductible, your gift must go to a qualified nonprofit organization. Public charities like Waccamaw Community Foundation, nonprofit organizations and educational institutions generally qualify. If you received admission to an event or charity dinner, or received any goods and services, you may deduct only the amount that exceeds the fair market value of any benefit you received for your contribution. Example: In 2015, you gave a check for $300 to a local charity. In exchange, you received two tickets to the charity’s annual gala worth $50 each. Your charitable deduction would be $200.
Donations under $250:
If the gift is under $250, you only need a bank record such as a monthly bank statement or canceled check. Or, you can document the deduction with a written communication from the recipient organization. The letter should contain the name of the organization, the amount of the contribution, and the date you made it. For payroll contributions, the required record may be a pay stub, W-2 Form or another document from your employer substantiating the contribution date, amount and recipient organization.
Donations of $250 and more:
You will need a written acknowledgment from the charity before you file your tax return or the return’s due date (including extensions), whichever comes first. The acknowledgment letter must state whether the recipient organization provided any goods or services in exchange for the gift. If goods or services were provided, the letter must include a description of what was provided.
How can Waccamaw Community Foundation help?
Using Waccamaw Community Foundation to fund your charitable contributions today, and long after you’re gone, in perpetuity, is our hallmark. Contact us at (843) 357-4483 anytime to talk about how we can launch your charitable legacy today.