If you plan to deduct any of your charitable donations on your 2016 tax return, hopefully you kept good records throughout the year and any receipts (whenever possible) from charitable organizations. Below are just a few basic reminders about charitable gifts:
Qualified Charitable Distribution from an IRA. The IRS permits individual IRA owners over the age of 70-1/2 to exclude from gross income up to $100,000 that is paid directly from their individual retirement accounts (excluding SEP or SIMPLE IRAs) to a qualified charity. It even counts towards your RMD for the year.
Did you donate to a qualified charity? The charity must be an eligible charity for your gift to be tax-deductible. Churches, temples, synagogues, mosques and government agencies are always eligible.
Gifts are deductible for the year in which it was made. As long as your check was mailed in 2016, it will count as a 2016 donation. Many people also use credit cards to make a charitable donation. As long as it was charged in 2016, it will count for 2016 (even if you still have an outstanding credit card balance for the donated amount in 2017).
Keep Good Records. Keep track of and save detailed receipts for all donations of property, including clothes, appliances or other tangible items. If a donation is left at a charity’s unattended drop site, you must keep a written record including the name, date, fair market value (FMV) and method of FMV calculation used.
Did you donate property valued in excess of $250? Additional rules apply for a contribution of $250 or more.