What you need to know about last minute tax donation write-offs

By David Williams - bio | email

As 2010 winds down, charities and non-profit agencies across Jefferson County are making a final push for donations.

WAVE 3 took a closer look at why so many people are waiting until this week to give to charities and the benefits these last-minute donations could have on your taxes.

Many of those charities and non-profit agencies are hoping to ride the coat-tails of this weekend's booming Christmas shopping spending.

In that year-end push for donations The Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts recently sent out a letter asking for donations; touting possible benefits to your taxes.

It's the last week of the year and after increased spending nationwide on gifts this Christmas, Kentuckiana charities and non-profits hope to keep the momentum going with donations right through the end of 2010.

"We need the support of the community, we need donations from our supporters, sponsors and members." David Holland, Communications Director for the Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts said.

Holland says 2010 has been a rough ride donation-wise. They're hoping that changes this week as people take advantage of tax laws in their last minute tax planning.

William Carroll, a C.P.A. and partner with Strothman & Company in downtown Louisville said

"Anything paid before December 31st counts as an itemized deduction on people's tax returns for 2010."

Carroll says hundreds of thousands of dollars as much as 25% of annual contributions to non-profits and charities in Kentuckiana comes in this week alone.

"I wrote a couple checks today myself to a couple charities" Carroll admitted Monday morning.

Carroll says the slow economy created a donation traffic jam, of sorts, as many people chose to wait until the last week of the year to give

"I think a lot of people may have held off as long as they can, to these charitable contributions, to see what the economy does to make sure their financial position allows them to make these charitable contributions." Carroll said.

With just a few days left until 2011, non-profits and charities are optimistic that cultural programs and other organizations across the Commonwealth will stay afloat and thrive next year.

" I think 2011 will be the year that that start's happening. I'm hoping that by this time next year, things will be back where we all like to see them." Holland said.

Carroll says as long as you get your donations in by Friday December 31st, whether's it by check, cash or credit card, your donations will still count on your tax returns for 2010.

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