GREENSBORO, N.C - 2018 is right around the corner.
You only have a few days left to make a donation that you can write off on your 2017 taxes.
Before you donate to the charity of your choice, there are a few things to keep in mind.
The first thing you want to do is make sure the charity is legit.
You don't want to fall victim to a scam.
The easiest thing for you to do is Google the exact name of the charity.
If scam warnings pop up, then that's not the charity for you.
The Better Business Bureau suggests learning more about the charity, such as the charity's mission, location, and Federal Tax I.D. number.
You should also know exactly where your donation will be going and how much of it will go towards the charity's cause.
Charitable contributions may also help lower your tax bill.
You can only deduct charitable contributions if you itemize deductions on Form 1040, Schedule A.
If your goal is a tax deduction, you must be giving to a qualified organization.
You can find out whether an organization is qualified by asking the charity for its letter from the IRS or checking the IRS website here.
You should always get and keep the receipt, even if you're donating cash.
The government will want a record of your donation, regardless of the amount.
Contributions to individuals are never deductible.
Here's a list of the things you want to avoid when donating:
- Don't provide your credit, debit, or bank account number until you know for sure the charity is legitimate.
- Don't let your guard down after hearing of natural disaster or any other type of emergency. Scammers might be lurking.
- Don't send cash or wire money.The BBB says scammers will ask for cash donations because once it leaves your hand it's gone without a trace. You should use a credit card or check once you've verified the charity is legitimate.