How to get tax breaks during the holidays

How to get tax breaks during the holidays

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - As we head closer toward the end of the year, it could be time to think about how to obtain those last-minute tax breaks.

Mauldin and Jenkins accountant  John McDuffie says if you itemize on an individual return you are allowed to deduct those contributions as long as you give to a qualified organization. 

"Based on whatever tax bracket you're in, if you're in a 25 percent federal bracket and you have $1,000 charitable contribution, that 
saves you $250 on your federal taxes," McDuffie said.

That includes The Salvation Army, Goodwill, political, private, or religious groups that have a tax-exempt statuses with the IRS. If it is unclear if that organization meets government standards you can check with the IRS website. 

This week Congress made a provision for those 70 and a half or older who are want to avoid taxes on their IRA. 

"Within certain limits they can direct portions of that distribution to a charity if you're not able to itemize, which many people over the age of 70 are not able to, this is a way to get a tax break," McDuffie said. 

Experts feel the most important thing to remember is to track what you give out, if you don't you could be loosing tons. 

For example, if you give to an organization in excess of  $250, the government requires that organization to create a written acknowledgement that no goods or services were provided in exchange for that gift. If you have no proof, your deduction could be dismissed.

McDuffie says to make wise investments by donating to organizations you know.

Copyright 2014 WALB. All rights reserved.