Charitable deductions? Follow the rules.

You don’t get a free ride with charitable contributions.  In order to take a tax deduction for any gift you must have something in writing from the organization showing the date and amount of the contribution. For text message donations, a telephone bill generally meets the requirement.  For gifts over $250, you also must have a statement from the organization stating whether the organization provided any goods or services in exchange for the gift. There are additional requirements for non-cash contributions with a total value of more than $500.  Regardless of the amount of the donation, you must have the written acknowledgement before your file our tax return.  (February, 2017)