Money Watch Q & A: Holiday Charitable Giving - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Money Watch Q & A: Holiday Charitable Giving

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Tonight's Money Watch Q and A guest says now is the time to donate to charities. Not only will it benefit others, it can also help trim your 2014 tax bill. CPA Mike Bosma, who founded The Bosma Group, says if you want to claim a tax deduction for your gifts, you must itemize your deductions. Plus, he reminds that you can only deduct gifts you give to qualified organizations, which include nonprofit groups that are religious, charitable, educational, scientific or literary in purpose, and nonprofit groups that work to prevent cruelty to children or animals. Also included: churches, synagogues, temples, mosques and other religious organizations, federal, state and local governments - if your contribution is used for public purposes. Non-profit schools and hospitals also qualify, along with public parks and recreation facilities. The Salvation Army, Red Cross, Goodwill, United Way, Boy and Girl Scouts and war veterans' groups also apply. Gifts of money include those made in cash or by check, electronic funds transfer, credit card and payroll deduction. You must have a bank record or a written statement from the charity to deduct any gift of money on your tax return. This is true regardless of the amount of the gift. The statement must show the name of the charity and the date and amount of the contribution.

You can also donate household items, which include furniture, furnishings, electronics, appliances and linens. If you donate clothing and household items to charity they generally must be in at least good used condition to claim a tax deduction. If you claim a deduction of over $500 for an item it doesn't have to meet this standard if you include a qualified appraisal of the item with your tax return.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       You can deduct contributions in the year you make them. If you charge your gift to a credit card before the end of the year it will count for 2014. This is true even if you don't pay the credit card bill until 2015. Also, a check will count for 2014 as long as you mail it in 2014.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              If you have more questions about year-end charitable contributions, you can reach Mike Bosma at The Bosma Group located at 401 Ryland Street #300 in Reno. Or call Mike at (775) 786-4900.

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