Monthly Archives: June 2014

Getting Married? See What Can Be Tax Deductible

Category: Deductions
Tags: donations, gifts
Getting Married?
These days weddings can easily break the piggy bank. But you can help to defray some of your costs with careful planning. There are tax write-offs that you can take advantage of, if you take the right steps.
Do you anticipate wearing your wedding gown again?
Most hope not, so why not donate it? Consider bridesmaid and flower girl dresses as well. There are many charitable organizations that would be happy to receive them, and not only will someone else take pleasure in them, but you will be able to use the donations as a tax deduction.
Where are you having your service?
If in a church, and, if you are paying a fee, check to see if the fee can be waived for members who contribute over a certain amount. It could be worthwhile to up your donations for the year to qualify for the waived fee. Donating to a good cause makes you feel good as well as help with tax deductions.
Where are you having your reception?
If you pick a non-profit location for your ceremony or reception, that’s another tax deduction. Places like museums, historic homes or buildings, or publicly owned parks usually use the money for maintenance and preservation. But before you book, make sure you verify that the location is a non-profit.
Want your gifts to give?
Set up your gift registry through the IDoFoundation. A percentage of the cost of each gift purchased through the foundation will be given to the charity you choose. The IDoFoundation has selected charities that ‘promote social change in underserved communities’. Couples can find a list of charities and guests can find a list of participating stores on the foundation’s Website.
Looking for something unique to give your bridal party attendants?
Considering the cost of weddings, most aren’t able to give extravagant gifts to each participant. So instead, think about donations in their names to their favorite charities? Another tax write-off.
Leftover food from the rehearsal dinner or wedding meal?
Donating items to a food pantry, rescue mission, shelters, or other non-profit organizations can provide a nutritious meal, and can help aid with food budgets. But, while this is another donation to write off, there are definitely items that you can’t donate such as opened food items, or personally wrapped meats. Check first with the charity to see what they can accept and have a volunteer standing by for delivery.
Done with your flowers?
Don’t let them wilt without anyone enjoying them. Donate them to a nursing home, hospital, or other care facility to help cheer up the elderly or patients receiving medical treatment. Not only will it make you feel good, but can also help with taxes.
Receipts, receipts, receipts
To substantiate your donation claims with the IRS, make sure you have the receipts from the charitable organizations, and hold on to the contract with your wedding venue, along with the payment receipt.
While these deductions won’t cover the cost of your wedding, they can at least take some of the sting out of your taxes.
Get guidance from you tax preparer and ask about filing jointly.

These days weddings can easily break the piggy bank. But you can help to defray some of your costs with careful planning. There are tax write-offs that you can take advantage of, if you take the right steps.

Do you anticipate wearing your wedding gown again?

small__11422721263-300x189Most hope not, so why not donate it? Consider bridesmaid and flower girl dresses as well. There are many charitable organizations that would be happy to receive them, and not only will someone else take pleasure in them, but you will be able to use the donations as a tax deduction.

Where are you having your service?

If in a church, synagogue, or other place of worship, and if you are paying a fee, check to see if the fee can be waived for members who contribute over a certain amount. It could be worthwhile to up your donations for the year to qualify for the waived fee. Donating to a good cause makes you feel good as well as help with tax deductions.

Where are you having your reception?

If you pick a non-profit location for your ceremony or reception, that’s another tax deduction. Places like museums, historic homes or buildings, or publicly owned parks usually use the money for maintenance and preservation. But before you book, make sure you verify that the location is a non-profit.

Want your gifts to give?

Set up your gift registry through the IDoFoundation. A percentage of the cost of each gift purchased through the foundation will be given to the charity you choose. The IDoFoundation has selected charities that ‘promote social change in underserved communities’. Couples can find a list of charities and guests can find a list of participating stores on the foundation’s Website.

Looking for something unique to give your bridal party attendants?

Considering the cost of weddings, most are not able to give extravagant gifts to each participant. So instead of giving them doodads, think about donations in their names to their favorite charities? Another tax write-off.

Leftover food from the rehearsal dinner or wedding meal?

Donating items to a food pantry, rescue mission, shelters, or other non-profit organizations can provide a nutritious meal, and can help aid with food budgets. But, while this is another donation to write off, there are definitely items that you cannot donate such as opened food items, or personally wrapped meats. Check first with the charity to see what they can accept and have a volunteer standing by for delivery.

Done with your flowers?

small__4821961570-300x200Don’t let them wilt without anyone enjoying them. Donate them to a nursing home, hospital, or other care facility to help cheer up the elderly or patients receiving medical treatment. Not only will it make you feel good, but can also help with taxes.

Receipts, receipts, receipts

To substantiate your donation claims with the IRS, make sure you have the receipts from the charitable organizations, and hold on to the contract with your wedding venue, along with the payment receipt.

While these deductions won’t cover the cost of your wedding, they can at least take some of the sting out of your taxes.

Get guidance from you tax preparer and ask about filing jointly. If you don’t have a tax preparer, feel free to contact us, one of our staff would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

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photo credit: Armando G Alonso via photopin cc
photo credit: Vicky Hugheston via photopin cc
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Confused about the Circuit Breaker Tax Credit?

Confused about the Circuit Breaker Tax Credit? You’re not alone. Perhaps this can help you to understand it.

This is a state income tax credit available to those over 65, who pay rent or real estate taxes, and who meet certain eligibility criteria:

  • For homeowners, this means that they must have paid at least 10% of their income to real estate taxes. Renters can count 25% of their rent as real estate payments.
  • Total income from all sources can be no more than $55,000 for a single, who is not head of household, $69,000 for a single, who is head of household, and $82,000 if filing jointly.
  • The assessed value of the home cannot exceed $700,000.
  • If married, the couple must file jointly.
  • The home or place of rent must be the primary residence.

The credit is not available to the taxpayer who:

  • Is filing married filing separately status
  • Receives a federal or state rent subsidy
  • Is renting from a landlord who is not required to pay real estate taxes
  • Is the dependent of another taxpayer

If the credit is greater than the amount of income taxes owed, the state gives a refund for the difference.

To receive this credit, a Massachusetts income tax return must be filed, whether or not the taxpayer otherwise needs to.

Your tax preparer can determine if you qualify, can calculate the credit, can ensure that all necessary forms are completed, and can help you file for up to 3 previous years if you were eligible, but didn’t apply for the Circuit Breaker credit.

Should you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

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