|The deadline to file taxes is almost here, so if you’ve done any charitable giving for 2014, now is the time to take a look at your tax deductions again before April 15 arrives.According to U.S. News and World Report, many people overlook the smaller donations they’ve given throughout the year. Whether it was an extra dollar or two given at the supermarket checkout line for a food pantry or a one-time pledge to help a friend running a charity marathon, there are all kinds of little donations that can add up throughout the year.
Melissa Labant, director of tax advocacy at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, also pointed out that many workers get automatic payroll charitable deductions, which could be missed because they don’t appear on a W-2.
Those who volunteer their time rather than donating money can get a write-off by factoring in their transportation costs, such as gasoline for a car or taxi fare.
Even gently used items can be given to charity, and these donations can also put money back in donors’ pockets.
What are the best charities to donate to for a tax write-off? There are plenty to choose from, but donating clothing, for instance, will usually earn donors a receipt that they can use as proof of their generosity.
Clothing donations can be itemized based on the resale value of the items contributed — which isn’t necessarily the cost of what they were when they were purchased. Each year, Americans donate about 14.3 million tons of clothing to individuals and families worldwide, so this is a simple — and popular — donation option for people looking for an easy way to give.
Lanbart warns donors to make sure they use a correct estimate for clothing donations — using a calculator provided by the charity, if available — and make sure to hold onto the list of donated items and a receipt.
However, keep in mind that these donations must have been given on or before December 31 in order to lower your tax bill for last year.
There is one exception that will allow last-minute filers the chance to write off a donation, though. Because the Slain Officer Family Support Act of 2015 became law on April 1, so those who contribute to the fund with cash can write off any cash contribution made on or before April 15.
The charity provides relief for the families of two New York City police officers killed in the line of duty last year, Detectives Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos, who were killed on Dec. 20, 2014.