Deadline to make tax deductible donations nears

If you are in need of a little extra cash, giving to a charity by the end of this week can actually put money in your pocket.

It is a constant flow of cars and donations at the Goodwill Donation Center in Columbus on the day after Christmas.

Tripp Chesser uploads his truck of bags of donations.  He and other donors are dropping off things they do not need any longer so it can go to help others in the community, but they all are not leaving empty handed.

"In a sense, you are throwing away money if you don't get a tax return receipt.  So, if you have your tax return sheets, you can at least get something back for it," said Chesser.

Amanda Lister with Goodwill Industries for Southern Rivers says December 31 is the last day you can make donations that you can deduct from your 2011 taxes in April.

Lister says, "If they have those donations ready and that they can drop them off, sooner, today, tomorrow--the sooner, the better."

Goodwill and other charities will give you a tax receipt that Lister says you will need to fill out and keep for your records.

The IRS says in order to be eligible for the deduction; you must be giving to a qualified organization like Goodwill, The House of Mercy, or Valley Rescue Mission.

The IRS says you must also determine the fair market value of your donation, and if you made a monetary contribution, you must have record of it, like a bank statement.

"Every dollar counts in this economy," said Chesser.

Chesser says it is worth the effort to get the tax deduction especially when his donations help others.

Lister says they are working to make sure donating is as easy as possible, even setting up an easy drive through donation system at their Goodwill store in Columbus at 6499 Veterans Pkwy Ste C starting on Thursday.

She says donations made at any donations center go inside their store to help people in the area receive job training for free.

"We'll use those donations in our store to fund our career centers and our success centers, and those sites are free of charge to job seekers," said Lister.

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