Don’t Get Scammed by False Charities
There are many organizations and individuals asking for donations for the hurricane relief. When tragedy happens, often it also brings out the crooks. So, when you are donating to a charity for relief victims, check to make sure the charity is sanctioned by the IRS. If not, you are being scammed and the victims are not getting the relief or aid they deserve. You can check at IRS.gov to see if your charity is approved by the IRS and legitimate.
When you donate to an IRS approved charity, you can deduct the value of the gift on your Schedule A charitable deductions. So, make sure you keep receipts for your donations. When giving money, it is easy because the amount you give is the amount of the deduction. But when you give goods, the amount of value can be a little tricky. If the goods are new, then the amount you paid (your receipt) is the value you can deduct. If the goods are used, then the value is usually what a thrift store could sell the goods for. To value the gifts, make sure you get a receipt from the charity and then use the guides of value that are available at Salvation Army, Waterfront Mission, or other charities. These charities provide guides of value for used items.
We all want to help with the relief efforts, but be cautious and watch for the fraudulent scammers out there that just want to take your hard-earned money for themselves rather than helping the needed victims.
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