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The Truth About Personal Finance (Collection) by Kay S. Bell, Steve Weisman

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Truth 12. Maximizing charitable deductions

Giving to your favorite charity can pay off at tax time as long as you know and follow IRS rules.

The first requirement is that you itemize. If you claim the standard deduction, which most taxpayers do, your generosity will benefit your favorite charity, but it won’t help reduce your tax liability.

Next, make sure you give to an IRS-qualified charity. A running list of authorized groups is contained in IRS Publication 78, with a searchable version on www.IRS.gov. You also can verify an organization’s tax-exempt status by asking to see its IRS authorization letter, or by calling the IRS toll-free at 1-877-829-5500.

You also need to be aware of potential limitations. In most cases, as long ...

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