Recently, millions of people have suffered from the flooding in the Philippines, wildfires in the western U.S., earthquakes, tsunamis, tornadoes, and even the recent power outages that affected states from the Midwest to the East Coast.
Many relief organizations, like the American Red Cross, set up fund-raising drives specifically related to disaster relief. An innovative way to contribute is through sending a text message to these organizations with a designated dollar amount. As long as the organization receiving the donation is considered a 501(c)(3) organization for IRS purposes, the contribution may be deducted on your tax return. The IRS recently came out with guidance on how to claim text message donations. If your telephone bill shows the name of the receiving organization, the date of the contribution and the amount given, it will meet the record-keeping requirement for a charitable tax deduction. If your telephone bill does not contain those details, you can always ask the charitable organization to provide you with a receipt. It’s an easy way to give money to help others, and you receive a tax benefit.
You can see if an organization is eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions by going to http://www.irs.gov/charities/article/0,,id=249767,00.html on the Internal Revenue Service’s website. For more information, please contact your tax professional at Schneider Downs.
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This advice is not intended or written to be used for, and it cannot be used for, the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties that may be imposed, or for promoting, marketing or recommending to another person, any tax related matter.