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Vol 40; TIS THE SEASON … FOR SCHEDULE A DEDUCTIONS

Posted by Admin Posted on Jan 16 2018

 

WARM WISHES THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

Happy holidays from everyone at Becker and Rosen CPAs. We hope your holidays will be filled with joy & laughter, and we wish you health & wealth all through the New Year.

           
IMPORTANT TAX DATES TO REMEMBER


With the end of the year ahead, we want to remind you of important tax due dates and deadlines that are just around the corner. In addition to these dates please keep in mind that information provided to our firm for 1040 preparation on or after March 23th 2018 will receive an extension.

Here is a recap of important dates to keep in mind as 2018 progresses:

  • January 15, 2018 - 2017 4th quarter estimate payment
  • January 31, 2018 - All information forms (W2/1099) are due to recipients and must be filed with the government
  • March 15, 2018 - Form 1065 and 1120-S
  • March 23, 2018 - Deadline to have individual tax prep info to Becker and Rosen
  • April 17, 2018 - Form 1040, 1041, and 1120, unless extended
  • April 17, 2018 - 2018 1st quarter estimate payment
  • June 15, 2018 - 2018 2nd quarter estimate payment
  • September 17, 2018 - 2018 3rd quarter estimate payment
  • September 17, 2018 - Form 1120-S and 1065, if extended
  • October 1, 2018 - Form 1041, if extended
  • October 15, 2018 - Form 1040 and 1120, if extended
  • January 15, 2019 - 2018 4th quarter estimate payment
     
TIS THE SEASON … FOR SCHEDULE A DEDUCTIONS


Written by: Kathleen Keeven, Accountant

It’s probably not a coincidence that some of us are looking for tax deductions before the end of the year as well. Charitable contributions provide more individual choice in timing, amount and use than any other tax deduction. It is the only tax deduction that comes with warm fuzzies. Historically individuals contribute about 75% of giving in the US each year. So it is a good time to review what donations are deductible on your individual tax return.

Charitable contributions are deducted on Schedule A Itemized Deductions on your individual return. If you use the standard deduction and don’t itemize you can stop here and go make some hot chocolate. If you do itemize you may want to continue.

Your donations must be made to an entity that the IRS has designated as a qualified organization. Once an organization goes through the paperwork to get that designation, it will typically cover its website and stationary with that information but you can check the list at irs.gov if you are unsure. (Click on “Charities and Non-Profits” at top right of the IRS home page.)

You must have documentation for any donations over $250. IRS Pub. 526 sets out additional requirements for donations over $500:

  • Written acknowledgement from the donee
  • Acknowledgement must include description of the donation and the value of anything received in return
  • Must have the acknowledgement at the time you file the return
Can you donate some cash to the man collecting on the corner? Absolutely. Though, you just can’t deduct it on your tax return. Even if you infuriated the drivers lined up behind you to have him sign a receipt, he isn’t a qualified entity per the IRS. Can you donate to the Old Newsboys on the corner? Absolutely. You can also deduct the donation because the organization is recognized by the IRS.

While you are deciding the amount and timing of your charitable contributions, take a couple extra minutes to check on how responsibly the organization will use that donation. It won’t change your deduction but it will make the warm fuzzies even better. Many new charity watchdogs and some old-school organizations provide easy online access to information, ratings, reviews, and inside information to help your decision. They also provide the entity’s Form 990 that provides the entity’s asset and income information submitted to the IRS.
 
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Becker and Rosen CPAs, LLC Disclaimer

This newsletter is intended to provide generalized information that is appropriate in certain situations. It is not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by the recipient, for the purpose of avoiding federal tax penalties that may be imposed on any taxpayer. The contents of this newsletter should not be acted upon without specific professional guidance. Please call us if you have questions. 

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