This is a popular time to make charitable contributions, which are tax deductible in the year they are made. Make sure you get a receipt, especially if you are donating clothing and other household goods. Consider donating highly appreciated assets like stocks or real estate. The charity will get those assets at the “stepped-up” or current market value with no tax due. That is far preferable to selling an asset, paying the tax and donating what’s left of the proceeds. Another useful tool is a donor-advised fund such as those available at Fidelity, Vanguard, Schwab and elsewhere. You get an immediate deduction. Your gift amount grows tax free and you can choose who gets the money later.
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