Money: Giving Guide

If you want to take a charitable deduction for 2003, you have to wrap up your giving by midnight on Dec. 31. Here's a guide to documenting the gifts.

Your money: you need proof from the charity that the contribution has been made. If you donate less than $250, then canceled checks, checking-account statements, credit-card bills and receipts from the charity will all suffice. At levels of $250 or more, written receipts or letters from the charity are necessary.

Your old stuff: for goods valued below $250, no receipt is needed, which means you can drop donations in a Goodwill box...

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