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Gifts to Charity: How to Get the Tax Break You Deserve

Making gifts to charity is one of the most popular ways people use to cut their taxes. But to make sure you get the tax break you deserve when you make a gift to charity, you need to know the IRS rules that tell you what records you need to keep.

In the following video, Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool's director of investment planning, talks about the documentation requirements for making deductible charitable gifts. Dan notes that for any monetary gift, it's important to have a bank record or written communication verifying the gift. For gifts of $250 or more, you need to receive a written acknowledgment of the contribution from the charitable organization. Dan notes that for big gifts of property above $5,000, you need a qualified appraisal to justify the amount taken. Dan concludes by noting that special rules exist for gifts of motor vehicles, which have gotten increasingly popular but were also popular targets for abuse.

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Dan Caplinger
TMFGalagan

Dan Caplinger has been a contract writer for the Motley Fool since 2006. As the Fool's Director of Investment Planning, Dan oversees much of the personal-finance and investment-planning content published daily on Fool.com. With a background as an estate-planning attorney and independent financial consultant, Dan's articles are based on more than 20 years of experience from all angles of the financial world.

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