Year-end Giving Reminders
To be tax deductible, your charitable gift must go to a nonprofit organization such as your parish.
To take a tax deduction for any cash contributions, no matter how small, you must have a canceled check, bank record or a receipt with the charity's name and donation amount. If you normally drop a $20 bill in the collection plate on Sunday you miss the opportunity to deduct $1,040 from your income taxes at year end. Instead, put the cash in a marked contribution envelope so the treasurer can credit the gift to you.
Gift timing is very important. You can take the deduction for your contribution in the year that you make it. If you mail a check to your favorite charity on December 31, you can write it off on that year's tax return. When you make a donation on a credit card, you will claim the write-off in the year the charge is made, even if you don't pay the credit card bill until the following year.
But a pledge to make a donation is different: Because it's only a promise to make a future donation, there is no deduction until you actually follow through.
If you want to give appreciated property, such as stock held more than 12 months, be sure to transfer the stock directly to the parish. You will receive gift credit for the present value of the stock, regardless of how much you paid for it. If you sell the stock and then make the gift you will have to pay capital gains tax.
Episcopal Diocese of Ohio