Tax Tips for Gifting in 2017


Tax Tips for Gifting in 2017

by Amy Lignor


It may seem silly to be speaking about contributions, donations to charity, and holiday gifting when the temperature gauges in some areas of the U.S. are still reading three digits. However, as anyone can see when they go to retrieve their mail, more and more envelopes, newsletters, magazines and promotional material is being sent out by organizations requesting donations. From the beautiful 2018 calendars being sent from places like the National Parks Conservation Association; to the lovely Christmas card samples being sent by the National Wildlife Federation, more and more mail is headed to your house from truly great organizations needing help to continue their work.

Tax benefit, gifting, money, charitable contribution, deduction, qualified organizations,

Tax season may also seem a million years away. However, when it comes to these organizations asking you to contribute, tax season has to be taken into consideration. By giving money, not only will you be ‘saving’ something or someone, you will also (in most cases) be able to receive a tax benefit because of the charitable contribution you make.


But how do you know which donations qualify for a deduction? What are the pros and cons when it comes to distributing your money as contributions, and how do you know which are actually qualified organizations? This is information you need to know – even when the lazy days of summer have yet to fade away.


1) When wondering what defines a qualified organization, in general, all government, religious, and non-profit organizations qualify for charitable deduction purposes. Examples include: churches, money given to a federal, state or local government to be used for public purposes, a non-profit organization, a war veteran’s organization, a volunteer fire company, a civil defense organization and more. On the other hand, types of organizations that will never qualify for the charitable deduction include: sports clubs, labor unions, and donations to politicians, among others. (*see the IRS’s complete rules for the full details)


2) If you find that organization you truly wish to support, and make a donation, the rules when it comes to your tax deduction are straightforward. If you do not receive anything in return, you simply deduct the entire donation amount. If you do receive something in return for your donation, you can deduct the donation amount, minus the reasonable market value of whatever you received.


It’s important to note that there are a slew of major charities out there, big names that a great many millions of people donate to every year (i.e., The Salvation Army) that will provide you with a donation guide. It is also important to remember that there is an annual limit for charitable contributions which is no more than 50% of your adjusted gross income (AGI).


3) Last, but not least, the biggest thing when it comes to contributing money to an organization is making sure that the organization is definitely exactly what it claims to be. Make sure to follow a checklist when it comes to this. If you’re not sure whether donations to a particular charity are tax-deductible, make sure to confirm an organization’s tax-exempt status by checking with the group or by going straight to the IRS website.


When this is done, make sure to give directly to the charity you want to support, and not to a professional fundraiser who may contact you on the phone. In addition, request privacy in regards to your donation. You can and should tell all groups you’re supporting that you do not want your name and contact information to be sold, exchanged, or rented to other groups or for-profit companies, which can be a common practice among some charities. Always check a charity’s privacy policy before giving.


And, always understand that there are “sound-alikes” out there. What this means is that some charities have pronounced themselves with names that are almost duplicates of high-rated charities out there in the U.S. Groups may be just fine and only have similar names because they are focusing on the same cause as another charity; however, there are others that simply adopted an almost duplicate name in order to deceive donors.


To narrow things down, some top organizations to donate to when it comes to the environment or conservation causes (which is one of the largest industries that request donations), are; The Environmental Defense Fund, The Nature Conservancy, The Natural Resources Defense Council, The Sierra Club Foundation, as well as the Trust for Public Land. These are all great organizations with missions that focus on everything from protecting national parks to cleaning-up wildlife habitats, to bringing back to life the land and the oceans that are necessary for both human and animal survival. And if you’re looking to delve into other areas that you wish to support, check out CharityWatch ( and you will find the ones that perfectly match your own mission in life.


Giving is a wonderful way to support the best of humanity, and receiving a tax deduction for your kindness is an added bonus.


Source:  Baret News



For movies opening August 18, 2017

  OPENING THIS WEEK Kam's Kapsules Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun by Kam Williams For movies opening August 18, 2017 BIG BUDGET FILMS The Hitman's Bodyguard (R for graphic violence and pervasive profanity) Unlikely-buddies comedy about an ace bodyguard (Ryan Reynolds) who grudgingly helps a notorious assassin (Samuel … [Read More its Good for You...]


Book of Black Heroes

  Book of Black Heroes Political Leaders Past and Present by Gil L. Robertson, IV Foreword by Myrlie Evers-Williams Just Us Books Paperback, $12.95 80 pages ISBN: 978-1-933491-21-9 Book Review by Kam Williams “The first African-American political leaders began to serve following the Civil War...Known as Reconstruction, this period … [Read More its Good for You...]


The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of.  I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is the first day of the time after. This is the beginning of a new time, the … [Read More its Good for You...]

Real Estate

Real Estate: Refinancing Rates on the Rise in 2017

  Real Estate: Refinancing Rates on the Rise in 2017 by Amy Lignor   The term ‘meteoric rise’ usually applies to something fun. Think: A Hollywood actor who has been ‘discovered.’) Unfortunately, when it comes to this article, ‘meteoric rise’ is something that will not bring a smile to one’s face. To put it simply, if you wish to refinance … [Read More its Good for You...]


The “King” Will Take Center Stage at the 2017 Wildlife Conservation Expo

  The “King” Will Take Center Stage at the 2017 Wildlife Conservation Expo by Amy Lignor   Each and every year the Wildlife Conservation Expo is held to address situations out there that are harming our world and its animal inhabitants. This time around, WCN’s annual Fall Wildlife Conservation Expo in October, will be focusing on … [Read More its Good for You...]


How Bassmaster Pro Edwin Evers Adjusts the Auto Settings on His Sonar

  How Bassmaster Pro Edwin Evers Adjusts the Auto Settings on His Sonar  by Edwin Evers When it comes to electronics, a question I get asked a lot is, “How do you customize your fish finder settings at the beginning of a day on the water?” The short answer is, “I don’t.”   You might think that a guy who makes his living with a … [Read More its Good for You...]


College Football Arriving Soon!

  College Football Arriving Soon! by Amy Lignor   Ask any college football fan and they will tell you that it seems like an eternity waiting for the season to begin. But, have no fear, the kick-off to the college season is almost here, with Colorado State and Oregon State hitting the field on Saturday, August 26th at 2:30 p.m. ET. On … [Read More its Good for You...]


Umbrella Insurance: The Safety Net You Need

  Umbrella Insurance: The Safety Net You Need by Amy Lignor   The realm of insurance is just about the most difficult maze to get through. Each and every day it seems the financial and insurance industries are changing. What is not changing, however, is the fact that lawsuits fill up the courts more and more – lawsuits that award cash to … [Read More its Good for You...]


Going Back in Time on the Ultimate Steamboat Vacation

  Going Back in Time on the Ultimate Steamboat Vacation by Amy Lignor   Many people love taking a cruise. But it is the river cruise on that glorious steamboat that not only offers all the benefits a big ocean liner offers, but also creates a more personalized, intimate vacation experience. It is a unique recipe: being able to witness … [Read More its Good for You...]