As 2014 draws to a close, you can still squeak in some last-minute charitable giving, just in time to be able to deduct them on your 2014 income tax return. Charitable giving tax deductions are only applicable to those who itemize their deductions. If you take the standard deduction, you are not eligible for tax-deductible giving.
If you are planning to take advantage of these last few days, be sure that you exchange your donated money in time. Your charitable gift can only be “counted” in the year in which you actually donate the money. Therefore, be certain the monies leave your possession by December 31, 2014 either in the form of a check that is mailed and postmarked by the 31st or transfers that can be proven were made in 2014, or credit card accounts that can verify donations made on or before that date.
If you donate $250 or more to a single charity, the IRS requires written notification from the receiving non-profit of your monetary donation. Images of your cancelled check or credit card statement are not sufficient proof.
If you are donating in-kind items, be aware of the $250 cutoff. You must receive a written receipt if you wish to deduct items of that value or any greater value. If you are cleaning your closets and donating used goods, remember that items must be in good condition in order to be tax-deductible. So, that means clothes must be wearable and appliances must work. Of course, all donations of both new and used items worth at least $250 must be accompanied with a receipt from the non-profit recipient.
Please consult with your tax attorney regarding the tax implications of of your charitable giving.