This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

5 Year-End Tax Tips For Charitable Donations

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Say what you want about Americans, there's no denying the USA is the most generous country on Earth.

According to Philanthropy magazine, America gives $300 billion annually to charity, with 79% coming directly from individuals and the rest from foundations (15%) and corporations (6%). It's light years ahead of the competition, Philanthropy says:

Per capita, Americans voluntarily donate something like seven times as much as continental Europeans. Even our kissing cousins the Canadians, whose culture resembles ours in so many other ways, give to charity at substantially lower rates, and at half the total volume of an American household.

Philanthropy cites the high rate of givers "from the most religious nation on earth" and America's" deep-rooted tradition" of helping the less fortunate as the biggest drivers of charitable giving growth in the U.S. Giving is especially strong during the holidays, with 64% of Americans planning to donate to charity this month.

If you do give before Dec. 31, the experts at Turbo Tax offer some tips that could result in "big savings" on your next tax bill:

Use a credit card. Charitable givers should know that credit card payments are deductible in the year they are charged, not the year they are paid. In other words, you can donate this year and pay next year (in January, ideally). Plus, if there's any fraudulent activity linked to the donation or to the charity, you'll have more leverage in getting your money back from your card carrier.

Give a gift, pocket the deduction. Crowdfunding websites such as Razoo allow you to give charitable giving "gift cards" as holiday presents (from $10 to $500) and get the best of both worlds: the happiness of giving and satisfaction of claiming the charitable donation.

Check the charity out. Charitable giving sites such as Razoo also let givers check more than 1 million charities to ensure their status as an organization worthy of the donation.

Get a receipt and keep it. It's advisable to track charitable donations so you can be sure to account for every dollar come tax time. Ask your charity for a receipt and keep a file active on all your donations. The list will come in handy around tax time.

Know the rules on clothing and furniture. According to the Internal Revenue Service, to qualify as a deduction, "clothing and household items donated to charity generally must be in good used condition or better." There is a fairly big exception, the IRS adds: "A clothing or household item for which a taxpayer claims a deduction of over $500 does not have to meet this standard if the taxpayer includes a qualified appraisal of the item with the return. Household items include furniture, furnishings, electronics, appliances and linens."

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,804.80 +26.65 0.15%
S&P 500 2,070.65 +9.42 0.46%
NASDAQ 4,765.38 +16.9840 0.36%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs