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Your charitable giving will help so many and work to your advantage as well. We hope that you'll consider a donation this year, to Unity Children’s Home.
Putting Your Donations to Work
When you donate to Unity Children’s Home, you receive the benefit of knowing you're helping to make a difference locally and around the world. But you're also receiving another potential benefit as well - a deduction that you can apply to your taxes this year. So in helping others, you can help yourself as well.
Here are some common questions we've received about charitable giving, tax deductions.
Unity Children’s Home provides this information for your convenience. As always, consult your own tax or financial advisor before making any personal financial decisions.
When I make a charitable contribution Unity Children’s Home, is that contribution tax-deductible?
Absolutely! Every single donation made to Unity Children’s Home qualifies for 501(c)(3) non-profit status from the IRS — and that means every donation you give counts as a tax-deductible donation. It's one of the ways Unity Children’s Home makes giving easier and smarter for you. When you make a donation through our site, be sure to save and/or print the confirmation e-mail you receive from Unity Children’s Home for your tax records.
I want my giving to be deductible for this tax year. Do I need to make a donation by a certain time?
Yes. Any donation you make on or by December 31, 2016 will qualify as a deduction for 2016. Any donations made in 2015 (even at 12:01 a.m. on New Year's Day) go towards the 2017 tax year. So if you're looking for a tax benefit for 2017, you'll want to make that donation soon. The good news is that you can donate on Unity Children’s Home website any day of the week, 24 hours a day. So it's easy to get in that last-minute donation.
Do I need to itemize my tax return to get a deduction for charitable giving?
Yes, you do. Donations are only tax-deductible if you itemize deductions on your tax return. When you file your taxes, you'll need to itemize your donations on the Schedule A of the 1040 form.
Is it worth the time and effort to itemize just to get a deduction for charitable giving?
The answer to that varies from person to person. The standard, automatic deduction the IRS provides is $4,550 a year for single people and $7,600 for a married couple filing jointly (2001 amounts); this is more than most people contribute to charity in a year. However, when charitable deductions are added to other potential deductions, including interest on a home mortgage, medical expenses that exceed certain base amounts, or additional deductions you plan to itemize, your charitable donations may help to lower your tax bill. As with any major tax decision, confer with your own tax or financial advisor so you're sure you get the most out of all your deductions.
How much can I legally deduct on my taxes for charitable contributions?
You can only deduct the amount of a contribution given voluntarily, with no expectation of a commensurate return. Generally speaking, you may deduct up to 50% of your aggregate gross income - half of your total income. There are some specific types of donations (such as gifts of stock, or donations to certain types of organizations) that have lower percentage ceilings.
Additionally, if you receive a financial or economic benefit in return for making a gift, the payment is not a deductible charitable contribution except to the extent that it exceeds the fair market value of the benefit. For example, if you gave $100 to a museum and received a book in return that sells regularly for $25, you can only claim $75 as a charitable deduction.
The IRS has a worksheet to help you determine how many of your donations are tax-deductible.
I want to donate as much as I can this year. How can I do that, taking my own needs and expenses into consideration?
This would be a wonderful time to sit down with your own tax or financial advisor — he or she can help you decide how much you can give this year. There are also a number of online tools that can provide you with a rough estimate for giving, including the charitable giving calculator from the New Tithing Group.
I've heard that some donations aren't fully tax-deductible, even if they're to an IRS-recognized charity. Is that true?
Some contributions can be tax-deductible for less than the donated amount if the charity provides you with something of substantive value in return. At Unity Child Placing Agency, we streamline the giving process so that 100% of your donation is tax-deductible — no worries about what's deductible and what's not.
When I donate, will I get a receipt?
When you donate to Unity Children’s Home, you will always receive a confirmation e-mail, which will serve as your receipt. You can also print the confirmation page that appears on your computer screen after you've completed your contribution - that can also serve as a receipt. You should always keep a hard copy of your receipt for your tax records.
Can I deduct expenses I incur from volunteering?
Although individual taxpayers may not deduct the value of their volunteering services, some expenses incurred while volunteering, for example, travel expenses, are deductible if they are not reimbursed by the charity. The mileage rate for charitable deductions for the 2001 tax year is 14 cents per mile [it is 34.5 cents for business deductions, but only 14 cents for charitable deductions, see IRS Rev. Proc. 2000-48]. However, travel expenses are deductible only if there is no significant element of personal pleasure, recreation, or vacation associated with the travel. For example, if you volunteered to help with a youth club campout, but visit friends along the way or spent time with your own family, you could not deduct these travel expenses.
When you file your taxes, you will need to itemize your donations on the Schedule A of the 1040 form. You can download this form and the instructions for how to fill it out from the IRS Web site.
If, in one year, you are deducting non-cash donations of more that $500, you will also need to file IRS Form 8283.
Your charitable giving will help so many — and work to your advantage as well. We hope that you'll consider a donation this year, to Unity Children’s Home.