Charities see late rush to donate for tax deduction - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Charities see late rush to donate for tax deduction

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

The clock is ticking to the New Year, and so is time to cut your 2013 tax bill. Local donation centers have been packed with last-minute donors looking for a last-chance tax write-off.

At Community Kitchen, New Year's Eve is one of the most giving days of the year. It's also the final day for a 2013 tax write-off. Tuesday's line was steady with folks donating to deduct.

Felicia Lansden was one of many donors waiting in line outside the charity. Her car's back seat was filled with bags of household items and clothing to donate.

"It's the last day, so I just added up a bunch of things and brought it by," she said.

Executive Director, Charlie Hughes, said 75 percent of all Community Kitchen's donations come in during the last three months of the year.

"The closer we get to the last day, the busier we get," said Hughes, adding how several hundred people had dropped off monetary donations in the last week.

But monetary donations aren't the only way to get a tax deduction. Donors can also receive donation receipts for food, clothing and recyclables.

"If people want, we can give them a receipt and they can get with their accountant and take it off their taxes."

The Internal Revenue Service has reminders for people making end-of-year contributions.

First, make sure the organization is eligible to receive tax-deductible donations. An organization must also hand out a receipt for donations that exceed 75 dollars. For clothing or household items, be sure to get a detailed receipt from the charity that proves what you gave.

"Seventy-five to 80 percent of people do [ask for a receipt], while some of them say not to worry about it," said Hughes.

And while the New Year might just mean a cleaner closet and some extra space for some donors, many report saving a few bucks at the same time isn't a bad deal.

"I'm helping someone out, and plus, it helps me as well," said Lansden.

For more tips from the IRS on year-end giving, click here.

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