Charitable Donations

Urgent Tax Moves to Make Before Dec 31

URGENT tax steps to take before year-end!
Starting 2018, the tax overhaul that President Donald Trump signed into law this past Friday caps the deductions for state and local income and property taxes at $10,000 combined. This is a significant blow to homeowners in expensive housing markets like California. If you pay more than that and itemize your taxes, it makes sense to try to pay as much of your California and local tax bill before 2018, when you can still use the old rules to take a larger deduction.

Tax Strategies for Santa Claus

As 2012 draws to a close, most of us are preparing to take time off and enjoy friends and family. But there's one famous name who works harder than anyone else this time of year — everyone's favorite fat man in a red suit, Santa Claus.

When you think of Santa, you probably focus on what he gives. But have you ever thought about what he pays? You can be sure the grinches at the IRS do!

Santa is most famous for his holiday gift-giving. His "North Pole Foundation" is set up as a not-for-profit under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3). But Santa also operates a second, highly profitable business focused on licensing and endorsements. (In that sense, he's like top athletes whose off-the-field income from endorsements

Tax Relief for "Superstorm" Sandy

Hurricane Sandy roared ashore last week, interrupting our regularly scheduled election already in progress. And yes, I'll be addressing election results shortly, especially as we get more guidance on what to expect for your taxes. But I’m impressed, as always, with how a natural disaster brings out the best in Americans, and I’m pleased to see both Democrats and Republicans joining together to help those most affected by the storm.

The IRS gives generous tax deductions to help make our own generous charitable gifts go further. So this week I’m writing to help you make the most of efforts you might make to support storm victims — or any other year-end charitable gifts.

15, 25, 28, Hut!

There's no denying that amateur sports, especially college football, are big business. Together, the 15 top-grossing teams score over $1 billion in revenue, with the University of Texas Longhorns alone generating $71.2 million in profit.

Numbers like that would normally make the "receivers" at the IRS smile. But college football is different. The big Division I schools that sponsor the most competitive teams are all tax-exempt. And the IRS loses again on a juicy revenue stream that's unique to college sports -- required donations, sometimes totaling twice the cost of a season ticket, that fans make to the school to secure those seats.

Back in 1986, boosters couldn't deduct the contributions they made specifically to secure sports tickets. But Louisiana Senator Russell Long, who sat on the Finance Committee, met with lobbyists who argued that his home state