Toss a $20 bill into the church collection basket this Sunday and you can still claim a charitable deduction for it. But come January 2007 you'll have to write out a check or get a receipt if you want to deduct your weekly offering.Ouch.
That beat-up dining room table you gave to the thrift shop? If you made the donation on Aug. 18 or later you can't claim a deduction--unless it was worth more than $500 and you get a professional appraisal attesting to that fact before filing your 2006 tax return.
This summer Congress passed the broadest revisions in the charitable tax laws since 1969. "The changes will have a very large impact on a low number of taxpayers and are a low-level annoyance for everybody else," says Laura Peebles, a director at Deloitte Tax in Washington, D.C. To add to the annoyance and confusion, some of the new rules were effective last January, some Aug. 18 (the day after the changes were signed into law) and some won't kick in until next year. These changes are in addition to the congressional crackdown, effective in 2005, on inflated deductions for car donations. And there could be another round of legislation next year.
Do read the entire article... Guess I'll be creating a better system to keep my receipts....