Charitable Summer Giving Equals Tax Deductions

During the leisure-driven summer season, people should still want to increase their charitable giving. Not only is this a noble enterprise, but it also benefits the taxpayer during tax season. There are many avenues of giving that can earn a tax deduction for the average person.

For instance, children’s summer camps provide fun and safe day care to many needy kids. They rely on donations to help parents with summer time care while parents are working and the kids are not in school. Another good avenue is finding a community fan and air conditioning drive which helps families and the elderly avoid heat-related illnesses during the sweltering summer months.

The national debt clock outside the IRS office...
The national debt clock outside the IRS office in NYC. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Or, finish your spring cleaning in the summer. Donate the clothing, household goods and other items no longer needed to not for profits who refurbish and resell them in their thrift stores.

Here is a caution, however. While charitable giving is important and worthwhile, be sure to check that the organization is legitimately not for profit. Check its references online. Ask friends and relatives what they know about it. Call the organization to inquire about its tax exempt status. Don’t donate unless you know all the proper paperwork is in the hands of the Internal Revenue Service.

To further credential your charitable giving this summer, be sure to save the receipts the not for profit provides with a donation. Use online tax software such as Turbo Tax to keep your donation records in good order. Turbo Tax Its Deductible records everything necessary to give correct documentation to the IRS come tax season.

Remember, no matter how you spend your leisurely summer days, plan to send some money, time and belongings to the charitable organization of your choice. Correctly recorded and documented, those donations will add up to nice tax deductions in April.

Turbo Tax And Mortgage Tax Deductions

Turbo Tax 2014 and Mortgage Tax Deductions

Many homeowners feel that it is more beneficial to claim a mortgage tax deduction than to pay off their mortgage. However, they really need to consider whether it is more beneficial to build up their savings or to pay off the mortgage debt completely.

English: mortgages Green Bay, WI
English: mortgages Green Bay, WI (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

First, a homeowner needs to look carefully at all the items on the return. You need to know that a tax credit is not the same as a deduction. Deductions decrease the taxes you are obligated to pay; while tax credits reduce your taxable income. If you do not have a mortgage, you may pay more taxes; however, the taxes you pay may be lower than the annual interest you pay on your mortgage. It is not good long term planning to keep a mortgage on your home for a tax break.

What you need to be careful with is using your savings to pay off your mortgage in this uncertain economy. Look carefully at your job security, health and what would happen if you lost your job. You never know when you will need to utilize your emergency funds. If you pay off your mortgage, you might have to sell the house or borrow against it if your emergency funds are depleted. Ensure that you are saving for retirement and maintaining an emergency fund before considering paying off your mortgage.