How to: Tax Planning for a Charitable Donation

Appropriately handling charitable tax planning can help you significantly with your tax burden. Here are the basics of how to handle charitable tax planning. 

Documentation

The IRS will require documentation from all of your charitable donations. Your donation must be to a qualified charitable organization, according to IRS law. If the donation is over $250, you will need to secure a letter from the entity that you donated the money to. If the donation is less than $250, you can usually use a copy of the check that you used. If you can get some kind of a receipt at the time of the donation, that would be ideal. However, some organizations, such as churches, will simply mail you a statement at the end of the year. 

Planning Donations

In order to lower your tax burden, you will want to come up with a system to regularly contribute to a charity. Each donation allows you to subtract directly from your taxable income. If you are near the end of the year and need to lower your tax bill, you could catch up and give a little more than you are customarily accustomed to giving.