‘Tis the season for generosity and celebration – a time where we’re reminded that little acts of kindness make a big difference. What better way to spread good cheer than by helping those in need and donating to the charities that take care of them.
Roadrunner Food Bank is one such charity, working diligently to stretch your charitable gifts. For every dollar donated, the food bank is able to provide 5.1 meals to hungry men, women and children in New Mexico. The food bank will be even more important to our community in 2014, when the level of need is expected to rise.
With generous support from many local businesses and their employees, Roadrunner will be able to kick the new year off on the right foot. One great example of a local company taking big steps to help alleviate hunger in New Mexico is Lovelace Health Plan. Lovelace has committed to doubling any new gift to the food bank this holiday season up to $33,000. To put this in perspective, Lovelace’s generosity will make it possible for Roadrunner to distribute up to 168,300 meals.
Consider taking advantage of programs like this, where you can help us double the impact to fight hunger and poverty. What’s great is that your year-end generosity could be the gift that keeps on giving. Not only will you play a major role in feeding hungry people – you may get a tax deduction, too.
To help taxpayers plan their year-end giving, the Internal Revenue Service offers the following reminders:
- Keep good records and receipts. To deduct any charitable donation of money, regardless of amount, a taxpayer must have a bank record or a written communication from the charity showing the name of the charity and the date and amount of the contribution.
- Contributions are deductible in the year made. Thus, donations charged to a credit card before the end of 2013 count for 2013. This is true even if the credit card bill isn’t paid until 2014. Also, checks count for 2013 as long as they are mailed in 2013.
- Only donations to qualified organizations are tax-deductible. (Roadrunner Food Bank is a qualified organization. You can check the Exempt Organization Select Check, a searchable online database available on IRS.gov, to make sure.)
- In general, an individual who itemizes deductions may deduct contributions to most charitable organizations up to 50% of his or her adjusted gross income computed without regard to net operating loss carrybacks.
- Individuals who are age 70 ½ or older can direct their required maximum distribution from IRAs to be paid directly to a qualified charity, reducing their taxable income. (For more information, visit the IRS website.)
As you enjoy the holidays and wrap up your business affairs for 2013, please consider including the Food Bank in your end-of-year giving plan. Thousands of hungry people in our state will be more grateful than you will ever know.
Annemarie Ciepiela Henton is a volunteer who serves on the Food Bank’s Communications Committee.