Charitable Contributions

The Tax Attic with Jerry Coon — December 10, 2009

December 10, 2009 // 0 Comments

Jerry Coon, Enrolled Agent Charitable contributions  As we near the end of the year, in addition to the festivities associated with the Christmas holiday, tax professionals across these United States of America are doing their best to get the word out to their clients and the tax-paying public that December 31, 2009 is, for the most part, the cut-off date to make changes that will affect the 2009 tax return. Last week I discussed the Roth IRA conversion issue. This conversion must take place by December 31 to be considered a part of the 2009 tax return. In a previous week, I discussed the sales tax deduction available for purchasing a new vehicle. This vehicle must be purchased by December 31 to get that sales tax deduction on this year’s tax return. For taxpayers who are paying real estate property taxes, the treasurer of the collecting agency must stamp the property taxes as paid in 2009 for them to be deductible on the 2009 tax return. I bring that up because not all township offices are open daily. Don’t wait until 5 p.m. on December 31 to drop off a check at the township office and expect it to be stamped as received on December 31, especially if the office closes at noon. Don’t mail a check on December 31, expect it to be delivered on January 4 and still be marked as paid as of December 31 just because it has a December 31 postmark. As a courtesy, in both of these scenarios, the treasurer may stamp it as paid in 2009 because it was in the drop-off box before midnight or was mailed before January 1, but why depend upon the treasurer’s courtesy for a deduction? Take the time to bring the payment into the office during regular business hours and get the receipt stamped or mail the check so it is received at the offices before the end of the year. Last year, I discussed that strange court case in Texas concerning charitable contributions. A couple’s return was audited for charitable contributions and the deductions were disallowed even though the couple had checks to prove every cent of their deduction. The one piece of information they were missing at the audit was […]