Year end gifts for charity

Legal Minute with the Law Office of Cooley Shrair

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (Mass Appeal) –  Have you got your ducks in a row to donate to charity before the end of the year? Attorney Susan Mielnikowski from the Law Offices of Cooley Shrair in Springfield shared more.

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Year End Gifts to Charity

  • The IRS recently released a ‘tax tip’ publication, called “Six IRS Tips for Year-End Gifts to Charity”, which highlights some key issues in charitable deductions.
  • Make sure the entity you are gifting to is a Qualified charity. There is an online tool the IRS provides to check if an entity is qualified. In addition, you can deduct gifts made to churches, synagogues, temples, mosques even if they are not listed in the database.
  • For monetary donations, you must have a bank record or a written statement from the charity to deduct any gift, regardless of the amount. The record must show the name of the charity, the amount of the gift and the date.
  • For deduction of household goods, such as furniture, furnishings, electronics, and clothing, appliances and linens, the goods must be in at least good used condition to claim a tax deduction. If you claim a deduction of over $500, the item does not need to be in any particular condition if you have a qualified appraisal of the item with your tax return.
  • If the gift is more than $250 you must get an acknowledgment from a charity.
  • You can deduct any gift you make prior to 2014, even if it is made via a credit card that is not paid until 2015, or a check mailed in 2014, even if it is not processed until 2015.
  • If you have donated a car, boat or airplane to charity, you should visit the IRS website,, to review the rules surrounding these specialty gifts to be sure you comply before taking the deduction.

About Cooley Shrair:

Cooley, Shrair P.C., founded in 1946 by Judge Sidney M. Cooley and Attorney Edward B. Cooley, is a progressive law firm located in Springfield, MA. Cooley Shrair provides unequaled service to its clients. Our unparalleled response time to our clients’ needs is the foundation of our mission statement.

At Cooley Shrair, family and business have always had a way of blending together. We know the importance of balancing the boardroom and the courtroom with the living room from time to time. We listen carefully to understand our clients’ concerns and work vigorously with them to develop strategies for success. It’s not just business, it’s personal.

We pride ourselves in being the most responsive lawyers in the area, covering virtually every area of practice for individuals and multinational corporations across the United States and Canada. Cooley Shrair is recognized consistently for exceeding client expectations and providing competent, integrated, and cost-effective legal services.

Our attorneys are each distinguished in their respective areas of concentration and are complemented by a professional support staff. Cooley Shrair is a formidable opponent who fiercely advocates on behalf of our clients and we take pride in our commitment to provide unparalleled response and unparalleled solutions.

We’re a family, and to us, that’s very personal business.

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