Sweet Charity

Credit unions are alllll about the "giving back," yanno what I'm sayin'? It's important to consider giving back to the community if you have a little bit of spare time and/or money. What some people don't realize is that you can get a tax write-off for charitable contributions! I hope you've already done your taxes for 2011 by now, but you can start planning for next year! 

About.com has a pretty great article about income tax deductions for charitable donations. If you keep solid records of your donations, deducting them come tax time will be a piece of cake! 
 
 

 
Hopefully it tastes like cheesecake. (source)
 
There are a few key factors to consider when deducting a charitable donation.
 
1) Make sure you itemize the deductions. If you're not sure how to do this, ask a tax professional or a seasoned vet of tax returns.
 
2) The donation has to be to a qualified charitable organization -- you can find this out by searching for the charity on the IRS website, though most will tell you up-front if your donation is tax deductible.
 
3) You can deduct non-cash items like clothing or property, but you need a receipt -- and certain other restrictions apply.
 
4) While you can't deduct your time spent volunteering, you can deduct expenses such as mileage to and from your volunteer work.
 
Plenty of other tips await in the About.com article, which also has links to several websites explaining the ins and outs of tax-deductible charitable donations.
 
Feel like being charitable RIGHT NOW? Michigan First is participating in the National Kidney Foundation's Kidney Walk! If you'd like to walk with our team or donate money, head over to our Kidney Walk page right here.
  
Stay awesome!
 
Janelle