Sunday, December 28, 2008

Tax Time is Around the Corner!

Since I am a tax accountant, tax season is on my mind but in case you don't live and breathe taxes, here's some reminders about charitable contributions - since this is near and dear to my heart. If you plan on donating cash or non-cash items to a qualified charity and deducting it on your 2008 taxes, the donation needs to be made by Wednesday, December 31st. If you donate by personal check, the check needs to be in the mail on or before December 31st. For donations by credit card, it must be charged to your card in 2008 to be deductible in 2008 so plan accordingly. You cannot deduct a cash contribution, regardless of the amount, without proper documentation. This can be in the form of a written receipt from the charity, a copy of your cleared check or bank statement, or a credit card statement.
If money is tight these days, there are probably things around your home that you no longer use or want and are in good condition, that you can donate and be able to deduct the value of the items now, not what they cost new. Many communities have thrift shops that sell items to help support charities. In our town, the thrift shop we donate items to supports the local humane society. This is a relatively painless way to help support causes important to you while clearing your home of unwanted items. It's a win-win situation!
If you received Christmas presents that you don't particularly want, rather than re-gifting, you can donate these items. Or you can exchange the item for washable dog and/or cat toys for example and donate them to a local animal shelter. Another idea is to exchange it for children's clothing and donate to a cause that helps low income families. By donating unwanted gifts, you help spread the holiday cheer to those in need and that feeling is priceless!

18 comments:

Gandalf and Grayson said...

When we lived in Florida Mom used the same CPA for 15 years before we moved to Georgia. He and Mom became friends. He lived and breathed taxes, too! It was not easy for Mom to find a CPA she liked as much for her new business here. A good accountant is critical for a small business!

John pretty much was doing nothing but taxes 24/7 from Jan-Apr 15th... so we probably be won't be seeing much from you! hahaha!

AM said...

Great Advice, thanks so much for looking out for us!

Casbah Kitten said...

Great advice. But no thank you for making me think about taxes! I'm NOT a math person and I'm sort of dreading it. Maybe I can get Mr. Pickles to do my taxes for me this year......

Jodi said...

Thank you for the advise guys. My donations are all caught up for the year. Now I will be donating some blankets but I am sure not worried about that one, lol! You keep mommy on her toes okay?

Rose Works Jewelry said...

Thanks for the reminder! I need to catch up my business records so I can figure out how much I'm donating for the last two months of sales >_>

BeadedTail said...

Gandalf & Grayson, I imagine I'll be pretty scarce during tax season but I'll still need my daily dose of handsome kittiness!

AM, you're welcome!

Casbah Kitten, Mr. Pickles would be the purrfect choice!

Jodi, great to hear you already took care of your donations! We'll do our best keeping Mommy on her toes!

BeadedTail said...

Roseworks, you're welcome for the reminder and thanks for helping out charities!

storybeader said...

great suggestions! Thanks for the tips - now if I can just get my husband to let go of his electronic toys... though I guess, I have mine, too...

Angus Mhor said...

Thanks for all the good ideas, I hadn't thought of some of them. I'm glad we'll still see you around a bit, in spite of the 'season'!

SolSisters said...

did you HAVE to remind us?

And for NPR listeners.. visit
givetopublicradio.org and make a last minute gift to your local station. IN times likes these, clear unbiased news is vital.

I will now stomp off to think about starting my business taxes.

tahtimbo said...

Thank you for the reminder. We have a bunch of stuff to donate and I've just been putting it off. One thing that I found annoying was two years ago, we donated an old sofa set to the Salvation Army, but then I found out that we could not claim it as a deduction, because they were not on the Charitable Donations list for Idaho. Now, we check first.
Thanks again for the information:)

maryeb said...

Great ideas. Thanks.
Looks like your cat is enjoying the books. Or just dressing up the shots.
Cute!

Skitto, Peanut and Chyanne said...

Do you guys help mommy out with that tax time stuff? Hope you had a purrfect weekend. We slept and played all weekend, hehe!

Lux said...

Those are all good tips - thanks for sharing!

PurrPrints said...

What a great idea--I had some things I was going to regift but now the donating sounds like a potentially better idea---I need to find out if any thrift atores in my area donate to animal charities--I don't suppose you know of any easy way to find out that kind of thing by any chance do you?

Karen & Gerard Zemek said...

I hate tax time! It's way too early to be thinking about this dreaded task.

HEALTH NUT WANNABEE MOM said...

I forgot all about this so thank you! Anything with taxes confuses me!

BeadedTail said...

storybeader, electronic toys tend to stick around don't they?

Angus, I have to see all you kitties to keep my sanity during tax season!

SolSisters, great idea about NPR!

tahtimbo, I hadn't heard of Salvation Army not being a qualifying charity in Idaho so thanks for the info! It is in most other states I believe.

maryeb, the cats are always in the middle of everything! Being cute of course!

Skitto, Peanut & Chyanne, oh yeah, they help all right! Stress relief mainly!

Lux, you're welcome!

PurrPrints, I don't know of a quick way to find out which thrift stores support charities. I hadn't thought of that part - oops! Their yellow page ads might say possibly.

Karen, I know it's too early but gotta get those donations in by the 31st for it to count on 2008 taxes. Once that's done, no more thinking about it until April!

Heidi, you're welcome!