Q:

How can donations be used as write-offs when filing taxes?

A:

Quick Answer

The IRS Publication 526 provides rules for deducting charitable contributions, including contributions that qualify, as well as those that do not. Eight simplified tips on the IRS website provide information about record-keeping, tax forms required for certain contributions, and brief summaries of non-cash donations, including merchandise, services and properties.

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Full Answer

To allow charitable deductions, the IRS requires taxpayers to file IRS Form 1040, with itemized deductions on Schedule A. Taxpayers who itemize deductions of goods or cash valued at $250 or higher must provide bank records, payroll deduction records, or written receipts from qualified charitable organizations, as of 2015, explains the IRS.

The IRS directs taxpayers to access Publication 561, which provides instructions for determining the value of donated items. Taxpayers whose contributions exceed $5,000 typically need to provide an appraisal written by a qualified appraiser, and fill in Section B of Form 8283. Taxpayers can access and print all IRS publications and forms from IRS.gov.

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