Thursday, September 22, 2005
More Bang for Your Buck: Charity Donations
From Katrina to Rita, millions of people will open up their hearts and wallets to the help the victims. But keep in mind that hurricane relief can also turn into tax relief. In tonight's More Bang For Your Buck, we're going to show you what you must keep on file for April 15th.
WSVN--As the gulf prepares for another storm, the outpouring of support has been unprecedented.
The Red Cross has already collected over 700 million dollars in relief and in South Florida the giving keeps on going.
Debbie Moshier: "We not only have come together as a company, but we have come together for people in need."
Debbie Moshier and her co-workers at Ryder are reaching out. After watching Katrina's devastation, they have organized a fundraiser called "The Ryder Ride for Relief." With a $20 donation, it allows anybody to participate in a motorcade from Davie to Everglades City.
Debbie Moshier: "If you can give to people it comes back in many forms."
One of those forms could be a tax break.
Ernie Hartman: "Any amount that you spend for a charitable donation whenever it be for Katrina for some other charity is deductible as long as your itemizing your deductions."
Accountant Ernie Hartman says a few simple steps can help you make the most of your generosity. First, when making a cash donation, it's always good to get a receipt for your own personal records. However, that receipt or another form of documentation is required by the IRS if you're giving 250 dollars or more.
Ernie Hartman: "A proof would be a canceled check and credit receipt or some receipt from the charity that's a cash receipt."
Proof is also required by the IRS if you plan on donating food or new supplies over 500 dollars.
You can even deduct donations in a drop off box - just make sure you have a written log including the date and location.
Ernie Hartman: "You can claim the full amount paid for any products you're donating."
Unless - the products you're donating are used. Then, you can only claim the fair market value - which is based on the price a buyer would pay at a garage sale. Plus remember, if you're buying tickets to a charity event, there is a catch.
Ernie Hartman: "If you were to buy a 100 dollar ticket to a concert and that concerts fair market value would normally be 60 dollars then your actual contribution is 40 dollars."
Of course, before you give, make sure the organization is credible. To find out how far your dollar will go, the website charity-giver-com will tell you what percent of a charity's funds actually are used to aid victims. Debbie and her crew are driven to make a difference. They're hoping to raise 4 thousand dollars for Katrina relief.
Debbie Moshier: "With all the phone calls I've been getting and all the interest we will defiantly at least reach our goal or surpass it."
The "Ryder Ride For Relief" is happening this Sunday at 10 am at the Ryder Used Truck Center in Davie.
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