During tax season, it is important to remember some important tips in regards to your charitable giving.  The donation must be in the form of either money or property.  It must be made to a qualified organization such as a church, non-profit organization or the federal, state or local government.  Donations cannot be made to an individual, political group or candidate for office, labor union, homeowners association, or deducted for the value of blood. 

If you contribute property, the amount of the deduction is the current fair market value of the property.  If the value of property is more than $500 then you must fill out Form 8283.  If the value is more than $5000 for one item or group of similar items, then you must also attach a qualified appraisal.  Similar items of property are items of the same generic category such as clothing, paintings, books, jewelry, land or buildings.  You must keep records to prove the amount of contributions you make during the year.  Contributions greater than $250 need a receipt of acknowledgement from the qualified organization.   

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