If you plan to itemize your tax deductions for 2013, one easy way to reduce your 2013 tax burden is to make tax-deductible contributions to charity. If, for example, the marginal tax rate (top tax bracket) is 25 percent, each dollar you donate to charity in 2013 will reduce your 2013 federal income taxes by 25 cents. If your state has income taxes, you’ll save on those as well.
You still have a little time left to make a charitable gift and have the contribution count for your 2013 taxes. But you must act before Jan. 1, 2014, and make sure to follow IRS rules.
The basic rule is that a charitable contribution is deductible only when it is completed — that is, when the money or property is delivered to the charity. Thus, the mere act of making a pledge to donate cash or property in the future does not constitute a deductible contribution — you must actually deliver the money or property to the charity by Dec. 31, 2013, for it to be deductible for 2013. Exactly when a contributions is considered delivered to a charity for tax purposes depends on the type of contribution.
Senior Director, Coldwell Banker New Homes Division
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