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If you’re looking to make an immediate difference in the world, donating to charity is always an excellent option. Did you know that in 2012, Americans give over $316 billion to charity? The majority of that large sum came directly from individuals.

Giving to charity is not only a great way to support organizations that you can about; it’s always a nice way to reduce your tax burden at the end of the year. While it may be too late to reduce your 2013 taxes (the deadline is always December 31); it’s definitely not too early to think about next year.

It is important to keep in mind; however, that charitable giving isn’t always guaranteed. Follow these to ensure that your donations qualify:

  • Research your organization

Only donations to qualified organizations are deductible. If you’re not sure if an organization is qualified, ask to see their records from the IRS. You can also search online through the IRS Exempt Organizations Select Check.

  • Always get a receipt

Deductions of any sort must be verified with a bank record or seen in writing from the organization. The written must show the date, the amount donated and the organization that received the donation.

  • Time cannot be deducted

While we know first-hand the value of volunteer’s time, it, unfortunately, cannot be deducted on taxes. On the bright side, out-of-pocket expenses that were ensued while volunteering such as travel costs, parking fees or uniform expense might be deductible. Remember to keep good records for all of your giving.

  • Keep limits in mind

Many taxpayers don’t realize that there are limits to the amount you can give throughout the year. If you give more than 20% of your adjusted gross income, pay special attention to tax limits.

  • Itemize deductions

To claim charitable deductions of your tax return, you must itemize your deductions on Schedule A of your federal form 1040 in lines 16-19.

We always welcome your donation to the Lions Pride Endowment Fund. Your gift helps provide, protect and preserve Lions Camp and all WLF statewide projects.

Looking for a way to give? Check out all of the different giving options available.

One thing we never tire of saying is, THANK YOU!  We sincerely appreciate your support!

Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2013/11/01/making-your-gifts-count10-smart-tips-for-charitable-giving/