My Take: Most people (maybe?) have already filed their tax returns, so this information (bel0w) might seem a little late, but it is not. I strongly believe that people do not realize that they have the ability to deduct up to half of your adjusted gross income (term defined below) through donations to charities (non-profits). This is huge in that the Federal government allows you to direct your otherwise taxed dollars to a cause of your choice. If you really care about a cause and know of a non-profit that is doing work in that area, you should seriously think about giving to the organization. It’s a win-win situation for you and them. You can give and lesson your tax burden, while you support the cause you care about.
I’m linking to a web page that provides a very good overview of the current rules and limitations that concern tax deductions and charitable donations. Once you are armed with this knowledge, then when you see a cause that you might want to support, you can make a more informed decision regarding your ability to contribute. Many people see non-profits asking for a donation as a losing proposition…at best it is seen as a way to get someone to stop bothering you. This isn’t true. If you have an actual interest in the non-profit or don’t like to see so much of your taxes go to the Federal government, then maybe you’re at the doorstep of a great opportunity.
Note: Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) is calculated as your gross income from taxable sources minus tax-expempt items like qualified medical expenses and retirment plan contributions. You can find your AGI on page 1 of your Federal tax return. You might also here AGI referred to as net income.