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Sat December 28, 2013
End-of-year Giving Opportunities
Although Christmas might be over for this year, we can still keep that spirit of giving alive by making a contribution to one or more of our favorite charitable organizations. And if we do it before the end of the year, we get to take a tax deduction when we file our tax returns in the next few months!
Well, Christmas is over! I hope you got what you really wanted. If not, you’re not alone. This has been a challenging year for many people. The markets may be up, but a lot of folks are still feeling the pinch, and that includes our pets.
All across the country animal shelters have reported surrenders of pets by their owners for economic reasons. At the same time, charitable contributions are down, so animal welfare groups are really caught in a bind. They are taking in dogs and cats and trying to adopt them into new forever homes, while at the same time finding they have less funding than they need.
This is a time of the year when making a contribution to a worthy cause can really help both the donor and the recipient. The charity receiving the contribution gets an obvious benefit – funding to continue providing services needed by the community.
And the donors? They get a tangible benefit in the form of a tax deduction that can be taken when they file their tax return next year. So the more money donated means more taxes saved. They also have the satisfaction of knowing they are helping organizations whose missions they believe in and want to support.
If you’re considering making a tax-deductible contribution here at the end of the year, there are a couple of things to consider. When sending a check for the donation, make sure the check is dated by December 31st and that the envelope is postmarked by that date. Then, even if the organization doesn’t receive it until after January 1st, you can still deduct it on your 2013 tax return. You can also donate stock or other securities, although you will have to check with your broker to be sure the transfer can be made in time.
If you are able, I encourage you to consider making a year-end donation to your favorite charity – whether it’s Alabama Public Radio or another worthwhile organization, such as your local animal shelter or animal welfare group. Everyone benefits, important services are supported, and for groups like animal shelters, your donation could literally be a real life-saver, when you’re speaking of pets.