Charitable Contributions

   The holiday season is typically the time of year that most of us make contributions to our favorite charities. Those who itemize their tax returns are already well aware that charitable contributions are tax deductible, but did you know that contributions to your local library also qualify?


   As most of you know, I’m also a columnist for Comics Buyer’s Guide magazine, and for years we’ve encouraged subscribers to donate a subscription to their local libraries. Well, you can receive a tax write-off for your good deed, whether the donation is a magazine subscription or the latest edition of Toys & Prices.


   I spoke with a very nice representative of the IRS today who informed me that libraries are indeed a “qualified organization” under the IRS definition, and you may deduct the cost of new books given or magazine subscriptions donated. (Please check with your librarian before you sign up the library for the magazine you have in mind – if not familiar with the publication, the librarian will likely ask you to provide a sample issue.)


   You need to keep a record of the item donated and its value along with the name and location of the institution you’re giving it to. Also note the date it was given, and that’s it. (We’re talking about donations less than $250 here — greater amounts are addressed differently.)


   For more information on Charitible Contributions go to the IRS website: and download (for free) Publication #526. It’s only 23 pages, and you’ll find it very helpful.


   Remember, you get the write-off for the year in which you make the donation, so if you donate a magazine subscription or a book to your library before December 31, you can claim the write-off on your 2007 tax return!


   Just one book or one magazine can open the door to your favorite hobby for the members of your community – and you’ll receive a write-off in the process. It’s a win/win situation, so do something small to support your local libraries in a big way this holiday season!!