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There’s just under a month left until the end of the year. That means you have a few weeks left to whittle down your taxable income. Sure, you could buy your friends and family matching taxgirl coffee mugs for the holidays (because who wouldn’t want those?) – or you could make a nice charitable donation. It’s the “feel good” tax deduction of the year!
It’s still tough out there for many folks. When adjusted for inflation, median household income is at its lowest level since 1995 and the poverty rate is up. Unfortunately, however, for many charitable organizations, donations are down. I want to both encourage you to make your charitable gifts by the end of the tax year (this is, after all, a tax blog) and to spread the word about some pretty deserving organizations.
As I do every year, I’m asking readers to submit, via email to charity@taxgirl.com, the name of a charity that most deserves a boost this year for the 12 Days of Charitable Giving. Ideally, it would be one that you have supported financially over the past year or that you plan to support before the year end. In addition to the name, I’ll need the city where the charity is located, what it does and why you support the charity (a personal story would be great). Please also link to the web site if the organization has one (Facebook is okay, too): the more information that you can provide, the better.
The charity must be a bona fide 501(c)(3) organization, meaning that deductions are tax deductible to the donor. Examples include schools, libraries and purely public charities like the Red Cross. If you’re not sure about the tax status of the organization, you can check it using the Internal Revenue Service’s Select Check Tool. Additionally, most charitable organizations will post evidence of tax-exempt status on their web site.
Convince me why your favorite organization is a deserving charity. I’ll review the emails and choose twelve to feature at my discretion. I might even involve the brain trust (i.e. my colleagues) in the pick. The winning choices will be featured, one per day, for 12 days in December – with some tips for charitable giving mixed in. It’s a great way to get some exposure for the charity of your choice. The hope is that one donation (yours) turns into more (readers) and a big win for the charitable organization.
The deadline for nominations is December 13, 2014, which doesn’t give you much time. What are you waiting for? Go, do something good!