From baking powder to babysitting, there are plenty of out-of-pocket expenses for charities that may qualify for a tax savings come April. Yes, possibly even buying those wonderful Thin Mints or Thanks-A-Lots.
"Many taxpayers miss out on their share of charity-related deductions, because they don't pick up the little contributions they do throughout the year," said Lloyd Grissinger, lead managing director at accounting firm CBIZ MHM. "We all get involved in organizations that ask for volunteer efforts and food drives that involve you spending money not as a donation but as supplies."
"A lot of those $50 or $100 items could add up to a big deduction," he said. "Get the tax benefit you are entitled to."
For example, if you just bought a few boxes of Caramel deLites Girl Scout cookies but opted to have the treats sent to troops as part of the "Taste of Home" Program, a service project that sends Girl Scout Cookies to soldiers serving overseas, then you can take the tax deduction.
Additionally, when cookie buyers donate their boxes of cookies to another organization, like a food pantry or shelter, then they may then treat the purchase price of the donated cookies as a charitable contribution.