Tax tip: give to qualified charity but leave a paper trail

Make 2011 deductible charitable contributions no later than Dec. 31. Give to a qualified public charity and keep a paper trail. Clothing and household items must generally be in good used condition or better to be deductible. Donations charged to a credit card by Dec. 31 are deductible for 2011 even if the bill is paid in 2012. Taxpayers must be itemizing deductions on a Schedule A in order to benefit.

Internal Revenue Service