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Subject:  Re: Charitable Donations Date:  4/19/2011  8:12 PM
Author:  JAFO31 Number:  113221 of 127753


OP: {{{This is not a question but a comment. I have gone to great lengths the last two years to keep track of our charitable contributions that totaled about $6,500 in 2010 and $7,500 in 2011. I consider this to be a lot of donations and is more than 10% of our taxable income, but TurboTax says we should take the standard deduction of $13,600 ($11,400 + $2,200 because we are old) that larger, even totaling the real estate taxes, charitable contributions, medical expense (just paying Medicare-B and backup insurance comes to more the 7.5% of our AGI). So we don't file a Schedule A at all."}}}

"If your income and potential deduction situation is stable from year to year then you can forgo collecting all of the detail. However, if your income were to drop significantly (increasing allowable medical deductions) or your deductions were to increase (more medical expense or contributions) you would want to itemize. Taking a standard deduction is actually a good thing. It means you aren't giving as much money to others (that is, those recipients that qualify as itemized deductions) as Congress is willing to give you off the top of your income and you have more money left in your pocket.

Ira, would it not make sense for the OP to double stack his donations and depending upon the state and its laws, real estate taxes, so that one year the deductible exceeded the standard deduction and the other year it was even further below the deductible amount?

I know from experience that the charities would prefer to have a donation every year instead of 2x one year and zero the other year, but the taxpayer (OP) is in control of the timing.

Regards, JAFO
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