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IRS Tips For Year-End Giving

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Do you know where your charity dollars are going and do you know how to get the tax benefits of those donations?

The season of giving is upon us.

And when it comes to charity, it gives us a warm feeling from helping our fellow men and women.

But it also means doing some homework. Nobody wants to get snookered.

Whether dropping a couple of dollars into a bucket outside a grocery store or making a sizable year-end donation, know where your money is going.

That’s especially the case if you want to deduct that contribution on your tax return.

What happens if a charity closes down between the time you donate and the time you do your taxes? Do you still get a deduction?

"If it is recognized as a C31 when you make a charitable contribution you should be in good shape. Certainly using the IRS website or just checking with that particular charity to make sure they're current when you give to them you should be in good shape."

How big of a deal is fraud in charitable contributions?

Certainly, in general, people will over state or under report income, overstate deductions that kind of thing. Nobody is sitting over your shoulder so to speak when you're on the computer entering that information and sending that information off to the IRS. But you want to be careful. You want to be getting an accurate return at doing an accurate return. 

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Does the IRS ever call anybody?

These scams are rampant. They are pervasive. They're sinister, but under no circumstance is the IRS calling you out of the blue, demanding you pay taxes in a certain way, threatening you with a lawsuit, threatening you with arrest.

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Raphael Tulino, spokesman, Internal Revenue Service

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