Charitable Receipts Reminder

Remember to collect all receipts and proof of your charitable giving. New rules apply for 2007. When it comes to deductions for your charitable donations it is now important to practice:

Less Cash. Try to replace cash contributions with payments by check or credit card to create a record.

Receipts. If you give cash, ask for receipts from the charitable organization.

Qualified Organizations. Always make sure the charitable organization is an IRS qualified charity. If in doubt, ask the charity.

Non-cash Giving. Non-cash donations of household goods and clothing must now be in good or better condition for deductibility. Take pictures of your donated items and list them individually, then attach these to the receipt received from the charity.

Vehicle Donation. If you donate a vehicle be sure you know what the charity will do with it. If they sell it without using it or fixing it you may only deduct the amount they receive for the vehicle. You may use the "fair market value" of your vehicle if the charity uses the vehicle to serve the charity’s purpose or substantially improves the vehicle and then sells it.

Donate Your IRA. If you are over 70 1/2 and have to make a minimum distribution from your IRA you may want to consider donating some or all of the distribution depending on your needs. For 2007, IRA distributions directly to a qualified charity are tax free and will not be counted as income on your return which may lower your taxes even more. You won’t be able to deduct the contribution, however.

Mileage. Keep a log of any driving you do in connection with charitable and volunteer work. You can deduct either your actual expenses or $0.14 per mile plus parking and toll charges.