Claim your charitable deduction on your tax return

It is that time of the year you get ready for year-end tax moves and get ready to file your yearly tax forms. Many tax payers fail to claim charitable donations they made to qualified charities. Qualified charities are those charities including religious institutions that are formed under the IRS Code Section 501 (c)(3). In order to get credit for your charitable donation, you should be itemizing your deductions and file a long Form 1040.

If you have donated more than $250 to a qualified charity, make sure to obtain a receipt and keep it with your tax documents.

Value of non-cash donations such as household items as well as donated time and travel for charitable work also qualify for a deduction. When calculating the value of donated items other than securities, IRS provides guidelines to follow. For most of household items and cloths, IRS will accept valuations based on thrift store prices. When it comes to stocks and other securities, value to use is the appreciated value of the security. Miles driven for charitable activities can be calculated using IRS mileage value tables. Keep in mind rates are different for each category such as miles driven for medical, charitable work and unreimbursed office work.