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There Is No Tax 'Season'

Keeping track of tax-related transactions throughout the year can save you from having to take a whole Saturday or, worse, a weekend to reconstruct the details later, and now is the perfect time to set up a system. For less hectic tax seasons in the future, start with these three basic moves for organizing your charitable contributions:

1. Keep your receipts. File documentation using a folder system labeled to match the categories you'll be using for taxes, such as cash donations, household items and gifts of stock.

2. Transfer records to financial planning software. Enter the information from your folders electronically throughout the year so you're not doing it all at once when April 15 is fast approaching. Doing so will also help you gauge whether to give more at year-end to maximize tax benefits.

3. Don't forget to claim deductions based on travel. Record vehicle mileage and other travel expenses when incurred for charity.

Contact Paula S. Fortunas at 850-431-5752 or paula.fortunas@tmh.org if you have questions about receiving your entitled benefits when supporting our organization.

Determine the value of donated property with a software program such as ItsDeductible in TurboTax. For property—other than most stocks—worth more than $5,000, you'll need to obtain a professional appraisal. (The appraisal is deductible as a miscellaneous itemized deduction.) Either way, you'll need receipts to document your donations.

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The information on this website is not intended as legal or tax advice. For legal or tax advice, please consult an attorney. Figures cited in examples are for hypothetical purposes only and are subject to change. References to estate and income taxes apply to federal taxes only. State income/estate taxes or state law may impact your results.