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J.K. Lasser's 1001 Deductions and Tax Breaks 2013: Your Complete Guide to Everything Deductible by Barbara Weltman

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CHAPTER 6

Charitable Giving

Alert
At the time this book was printed, Congress had not extended numerous breaks for 2012 that had expired at the end of 2011. Check the online supplement in February 2013 at www.jklasser.com or www.barbaraweltman.com to see whether these breaks apply for 2012 returns.

Americans are very generous people. Aside from the good feeling you get from following your philanthropic nature, the tax laws reward you for making donations. Americans donated $298.4 billion to charities in 2011 (according to estimates by the Giving USA group).

This chapter explains:

  • Cash donations
  • Appreciated property donations
  • Used clothing and car donations
  • Intellectual property donations
  • Real estate donated for conservation purposes
  • Bargain sales
  • Volunteer expenses
  • Tickets to fund-raisers, raffles, and sporting events
  • Membership fees to nonprofit organizations
  • Student exchange program
  • Special inventory donations
  • Donor-advised funds
  • Appraisal fees and other costs
  • IRA transfers to charity

This chapter also contains a record keeper that you can use to track your cash contributions throughout the year.

For more information, see IRS Publication 526, Charitable Contributions; IRS Publication 561, Determining the Value of Donated Property; IRS Publication 1771, Charitable Contributions—Substantiation and Disclosure Requirements; IRS Publication 3833, Disaster Relief: Providing Assistance through Charitable Organizations; and IRS Publication 4303, A Donor's Guide to Vehicle Donations. ...

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