Charitable contributions should be timed so as to obtain the maximum tax benefits, either in 2013 or 2014. If a taxpayer plans to make a charitable contribution in 2014, he should consider making it this year instead if speeding up the deduction would produce an overall tax saving, e.g., because the taxpayer will be in a higher marginal tax bracket in 2013 than in 2014. On the other hand, a taxpayer who expects to be in a higher bracket in 2014 should consider deferring a contribution until that year. Taxpayers also should be mindful that the special tax break for direct contributions from individual retirement accounts (IRAs) expires at the end of this year.
In making any sizable charitable contributions, to the extent possible, clients should make the contributions in appreciated capital gain property that would result in long-term capital gain if sold. That way, a deduction generally is obtained for the full value of the property, such as shares of stock, etc., while any regular income tax on the appreciation in value is avoided. (However, for tangible personalty, this favorable treatment is only available if the donated item is related to the exempt purpose of the donee charity.)
Here is a list of exempt organizations recognized by the IRS.
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