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Thanksgiving season might mean that you're considering making charitable donations in the spirit of giving. But are you making sure to track them as you go? It may seem like a hassle now, but come tax season you'll appreciate knowing that every tax-deductible gift was well documented.
Here are our recommendations for a hassle-free giving season!
Contributions: Both monetary and non-monetary contributions need to be well documented, but the strategy for each is a little different. The IRS breaks down the methods for both here: www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc506.html Make sure that no matter what, you record every contribution, whether it is monetary or not.
Tracking: If you prefer a low-tech tracking method you can create a file folder or envelope with all of your records. You can also start a spreadsheet that includes name, dates, and amounts of each contribution and keep that in your folder as well. If you prefer to use technology, there are many apps that can help you, including Evernote, OneNote, Turbo Tax ItsDeductible, or iDonatedIt.
Now, you might be wondering what kind of tools we have to help you with your giving. It turns out, there are plenty of things we can do to help optimize your giving AND make it stress-free for you:
Our online banking includes options to categorize your spending. Not only is this helpful for day-to-day spending, but it's also great to help you keep track of your charitable giving! Adding labels to your donations will make it easy to find them when it matters most. Find the details and totals for all your giving in one place and easily track as you go.
If you'd prefer to save a certain percentage of your paycheck for charity on a regular basis, we'd be happy to set up a second account just for that purpose! Few people are aware of this, but you can change your direct deposit settings with your employer so that the money is automatically split into separate accounts. Additionally, you could set up a recurring payment through our bill pay features to send a certain amount to the charity of your choice each month! Complete automation is a great choice for those who want to make giving as seamless as possible.
Our mobile app allows you to access the tools you need for giving (checking account balances, bill pay, and account transfers) from anywhere!
We'd love to help you set up these tools at any time! And remember - your financial advisor or accountant can be a great help to figure out which donations you make are acceptable to the IRS for tax deductions.
Luckily for you, that's why we're here - to give you the personal attention that you should expect from your bank, no matter how big or small your questions are.