Thanksgiving: How to Donate and Get Tax Deductions

November 17, 2017

While Thanksgiving is undoubtedly a time of giving, it can also be a time of receiving. Before spending time with friends and family this November, make sure you schedule some time with a Los Angeles tax specialist to learn whether any donations you make to food banks and charitable organizations are tax deductible.

Do Your Research Before Donating

Not only is researching the charity you’re thinking of donating to a good idea to see what kind of organization they are, a tax expert agency professional can also tell you that your research can help you learn whether donations are tax deductible. For instance, food banks might inform you that your donations are limited to what you paid for the food, which might include any discount applied to your purchase.

A Standard Deduction Might Be Better

It’s not always in your best interest to claim deductions on your taxes. Donating a few items to charity this Thanksgiving is unlikely to result in a substantial cut in your tax liability bill. In this case, you’re likely better off opting for a standard deduction. One instance in which an itemized deduction would probably work better than a standard deduction is when your itemized deduction is more than your standard deduction.

Know the Worth of the Items You Donate

Do yourself a huge favor and know how much the items you’re donating are worth, such as electronics, appliances and clothing. An Encino tax adviser can point you in the right direction regarding programs and apps that can help you determine the free market value of your donations so you can list them accurately. If you can, try to find a tool that transfers the information to your tax return.

For more tips on making deductible donations this Thanksgiving, contact us here at Wallace & Associates. Give us a call at 818-995-2928 before the next tax season rolls around.