Several tax deductions for the 2009 tax year can be made early in 2010 – IRAs for example – but the clock is ticking on other tax break deductions which must be completed by the end of this year.
Michael Devine, the Internal Revenue Department’s Media Relations Specialist for Missouri and Kansas, says charitable contributions are the key tax break affected by the clock.
“All contributions have to be made during the calendar year,” said Devine in an interview with the Missourinet. “So, if you’re going to make a donation of clothing or cash you have to do that this year.”
There is one exception – kind of.
“On December 31st, if you want to make a donation on your credit card then you could write that off as a deduction for 2009, even though you’re going to pay the bill next year, as long as it’s on your credit card.”
It is important to obtain receipts for all charitable contributions to be claimed when filing 2009 income tax returns.
“There have to be receipts from the charitable organization and a cancelled check or credit card receipt – something that shows the organization that you made the donation to, how much it was, and your proof and a return receipt from the organization,” said Devine.
If you plan on donating goods you must make sure those goods are not something you might otherwise throw away.
“Clothing and household items donated to charity have to be in good used condition or better,” said Devine. “If you’re going to make a large donation of a lot of household goods – let’s say you’re redecorating and you’re giving away a lot of furniture – if the claim is over $500 you have to have something from the organization saying what you gave them.”
The key thing to remember is that all eligible charitable contributions must be made to qualified charities that are recognized by the IRS.