Holiday Giving Comes With a Price, IRS Watching Your Taxes - FOX 42: Omaha News, Sports and Weather; |

Holiday Giving Comes With a Price, IRS Watching Your Taxes

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Laura Berry

OMAHA (KPTM)- Giving to charity has its rewards. Some people donate to help out someone in need and others donate to get tax breaks. However, getting a deduction means you need to keep good records when it comes to tax time.

The end of the year means more donations for Omaha's Goodwill Stores.

"We're up four percent. Getting toward the end of the year is our busiest season for the end of the year tax rush so, we're looking forward to a big season here," Randy Parks, Chief Operating Officer for the Goodwill said.

If you're donating to get that tax break you should know the IRS is cracking down. To legitimately claim donated items on your taxes, they must be itemized.

"It's the bottom like. Records are number one to keep in case you get audited," volunteer income tax assistant Nancy Livingston said.

Livingston said that it's critical to get a receipt and be aware of exactly which items you're giving to charity.

"Say you have ten bags of clothing and you feel that those bags are worth a thousand dollars, you're going to have to really list what is in those bags and what a fair market value is," Livingston said.

She adds that people can get attached to their clothes, so a good way to assign an amount is to ask a friend or neighbor how much they would pay for it. Also, don't forget to keep that proof.

"A small file box, an envelope where you put those receipts and you mark it. It doesn't have to be anything that is complicated. It could be 20-13 donation receipts.

If you're giving to the Goodwill you can sign up for a card that helps you keep track of donations.

"Throughout the entire year we'll log how many bags, how many boxes of clothes that you donated and at the end of the year, you can get on to our website and pull off a report," Parks said.

If you're claiming donations you need to file a regular 10-40 long form with an attached schedule, showing what you've donated over the year. Receipts from those items must be dated before the end of 2013. If you're expecting a notice by mail, it needs to be postmarked before December 31st

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