Tax Deadline Looms For Charitable Contributions

By Jason Alderman – Each year, roughly one-third of American households itemize deductions on their federal income taxes. If you’re among that group, there are a several actions you need to take by year’s end in order to take full advantage of available deductions. For example, by December 31 you must pay for any uninsured medical expenses, state and local income and property taxes and unreimbursed employee expenses you want to deduct from your 2011 taxes. Decide now on how much to contribute to charitable organizations and either charge your credit/debit card or postmark a check by midnight on the final day of the year. If you buy an item at a charitable auction, you’re only allowed to claim a deduction for the amount you pay that’s above its fair market value. But on the other hand, if you donate an item for a charitable auction, you’re only allowed to claim the amount you originally paid for it, versus its current fair market value. For more tips, visit www.irs.gov/charities/contributors. | CST

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