Jackson Hewitt(R) Offers Helpful Tips for Charitable Giving This Holiday Season

Giving Trend Is Up, But Many Individuals Are Not Properly Claiming Charitable Giving on Their Tax Returns

PARSIPPANY, N.J., Nov. 15, 2011 // PRNewswire // -- 'Tis the season for giving to family, friends, loved ones and especially those in need. Despite continued economic challenges, 2010 saw a 4 percent increase in charitable giving, according to a Giving USA Foundation report. The philanthropic research group claims the upward trend is expected to continue this year. While more people are giving to charities, they may still be unsure of how to properly record and claim their charitable donations on their tax return. Incorrectly deducting charitable giving can result in taxpayers missing out on a possible larger refund or reducing the amount of tax owed.

"It's always better to give than to receive, but it's also helpful to realize the tax benefits of a charitable act," said Mark A. Steber, Chief Tax Officer, Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc. "Still, many taxpayers may be overpaying taxes every year by understating the value of their donations."

Charitable giving comes in many forms. Steber offers some helpful tips and advice on how to make and properly record charitable contributions and claim them on a 2011 tax return:

  • Choose a qualified charitable organization - The Internal Revenue Service allows taxpayers to search for a qualified organization on its website, www.irs.gov. Qualified organizations offer several ways to make a tax-deductible contribution through a cash payment, check, credit card charge, or by making payroll deduction to a favorite charity.
  • Keep a Written Record of Your Donation(s) - Keep records and receipts for all contributions regardless of the amount or value. Acceptable records include a receipt from the organization that states the date, name, address, location and amount of the donation; a cancelled check; or other bank documents that provide the same information.
  • Get Fair Market Value for Non-Cash Donations - Claim the fair-market value of the clothing, toys, furniture, or other household items you donated to charity.
  • Claim Out-of-Pock Expenses for Volunteer Work - Give your time, instead of your money. Your drive to the soup kitchen or other local charitable organization is tax deductible. Out-of-pocket expenses for volunteer work include mileage or transportation costs related to charitable work, the cost of uniforms required while doing the volunteer work and any supplies needed. When claiming mileage, record the number of miles driven, the starting point and destination, the date and the organization's name.

To learn more about the tax benefits of charitable donations, please visit www.jacksonhewitt.com or call 1-800-234-1040 to find a local Jackson Hewitt office.

About Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc.

Based in Parsippany, NJ, Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc. is an industry-leading provider of full service individual federal and state income tax preparation, with franchised and company-owned office locations throughout the United States. Jackson Hewitt Tax Service® also offers an online tax preparation product at www.jacksonhewittonline.com. For more information, or to locate the Jackson Hewitt® office nearest to you, visit www.jacksonhewitt.com or call 1-800-234-1040. Jackson Hewitt can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Contacts:

David G. Weselcouch
Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc.
(973) 630-0809
david.weselcouch@jtax.com

Melissa Connerton
CooperKatz & Company
(917) 595-3039
mconnerton@cooperkatz.com

SOURCE Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc.

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