Charitable contributions at year end – simple tips to remember

Here are a few simple tips to remember when making your year-end charitable contributions. For IRA owners age 70 1/2 or over, you can transfer up to $100,000 per year tax-free to an eligible charity, regardless of whether they itemize their deductions. To deduct monetary donations of any amount, you must have a bank record or a written communication from the charity showing the name of the charity and the date and amount of the contribution. Contributions are deductible in the year made, so donations charged to a credit card before the end of the year count for 2008, as do checks as long as they are mailed this year. For all donations of property, including clothing and household items, you should get a receipt, if possible, that includes the name of the charity, date of the contribution, and a reasonably-detailed description of the donated property.

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