As New Yorkers Participate in Giving Tuesday, NYS Tax Department Reminds Them of Added Benefits Tax benefit available throughout the year; most recent data shows $599 million tax benefit to those who made philanthropic donations
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The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance today reminded taxpayers to follow established guidelines when claiming charitable contributions on their personal income tax returns.
Millions of New Yorkers donate to charities, especially around the holidays. In 2014, the most recent year for which tax data is available, more than two million New York taxpayers claimed $32.9 billion in charitable giving for a total tax savings of $599 million.
“To ensure that New Yorkers are rewarded for their generosity and receive the deductions they deserve, we remind them to avoid common filing errors,” said Acting Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Nonie Manion. “If you made a contribution this year, you must ‘write off’ that contribution on your 2016 tax return. This is true even if you use a credit card now and don’t pay the bill until next year.”
“United Way and its partner agencies rely heavily upon the generosity of our donors,” said President and CEO of United Way of the Greater Capital Region Brian Hassett. “The tax benefits of giving to charity are only outweighed by the difference these gifts mean to the people in need who depend upon the many great charitable organizations in our community.”
"Our CPAs would remind you to obtain a receipt, whether it’s a letter or another form of written communication for any charitable donation showing the name of the qualified organization, the date of the contribution and the amount you contributed, in order to make sure your tax deduction remains eligible when it comes time to file," said Joanne S. Barry, Executive Director of the New York State Society of CPAs.
To be eligible for a tax deduction, all contributions must be made to a qualified charity. A list of qualified organizations is maintained by both the Internal Revenue Service and the New York State Attorney General’s office.
“When you make a monetary donation to a qualified charity, whether by cash, credit card, check, or payroll deduction, make sure to get a written statement from the charity,” said Manion. “Keep it in your tax files regardless of the size of the donation.”
Donations of certain household items and clothing often qualify for a deduction as well. You must keep a record of the contribution that shows the name of the charity, and the date and value of the donation.
Out-of-state residents who make charitable donations to New York charities won’t be considered New York State residents for legal purposes based on their acts of generosity. “That’s a common misconception, a myth,” Manion added. “We determine residency in a variety of ways, but rest assured that charitable giving isn’t one of them.” Further, the 2016-17 Enacted Budget reinforced this long-standing policy by explicitly providing that charitable giving cannot be a factor in determining domicile for estate tax purposes.
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