The good feelings that come with charity donations during the holiday season can be accompanied by good feelings at tax time.
To take an itemized charitable deduction on 2012 tax return, donate to a qualified charity by Dec. 31. Donations by credit card are deductable from 2012 tax returns even if the bill is paid in 2013. Checks mailed in Dec. are also deductable in 2012.
Keep a written record of cash donations to claim deductions.
“This may include a cancelled check, bank or credit card statement or payroll deduction record,” according to an IRS press release. Charities can also provide a written statement. Make sure the statement shows the charity’s name, contribution date and amount.
Donations to individuals are not tax deductable.
To check if a charity is qualified use the Exempt Organizations Select Check tool at www.irs.gov.
For more information about charitable contributions and deductions visit www.irs.gov and see Publication 526, Charitable Contributions. Or order the booklet by mail at (800) 829-3676.