It's tax time, which means many are now scrambling to find receipts and paperwork from donations made in 2010. It's frustrating if you can't find donation receipts for the past year. Or, maybe you typically skip recording what you've donated--and risk missing out on your charitable deductions altogether. Number three on Kiplinger's list of 19 most-overlooked tax deductions is out-of-pocket charitable contributions. (Kiplinger.com Dec 2010)
For some people, keeping receipts and check stubs from tax-deductible donations and purchases in an envelope or tax tickler file works. When tax time comes they have all records in one place.
There's another option for easy tracking of tax-deductible contributions which may be a better fit for people, and it's free. ItsDeductible.com, from Turbo Tax, gives individuals the ability to track online donated items such as clothing, electronics, and household items as well as vehicle mileage accumulated to complete volunteer work. You also can track donations of stocks and mutual funds. The site can track the method of payment you used to make contributions as well--cash, check, credit card, or payroll deduction. You do not have to be a Turbo Tax customer to use the site.
Larger contributions are more obvious and harder to overlook, but all those smaller contributions add up. So, in this new year, resolve to save yourself money by better tracking all your tax-deductible donations in a way that works well for you.