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Your tax-deductible, charitable contributions are vital to Abilities' mission. MAKE A DONATION NOW USING YOUR CREDIT CARD by calling or e-mailing Frank De Lucia at 727-600-8900 or frank.delucia@servicesource.org

Gifts of Cash — Contributions made with cash, checks, or credit cards are the easiest and most popular methods of giving. VISA, MC, AMEX, Discover cards accepted.

Matching Gifts — Many companies have programs that will match your gift to Abilities on a dollar-for-dollar (or more) basis. Check to see if your employer, or company from which you have retired, participates.

Memorial Gifts — A wonderful way to pay tribute to a deceased relative or friend. These gifts are often made in lieu of flowers, or as a special remembrance. Families of honorees receive notification of your gift.

Commemorative Gifts — Why not commemorate a birthday, holiday, anniversary, or graduation with a gift in honor of a loved one? Won't people be surprised when they receive a letter from us advising them of your admiration?

Circle of Honor — Benefactors who contribute $1,000 or more qualify for and are publicly recognized at the Circle of Honorees.

To make a contribution by mail, please make your check payable to the Abilities, Inc. and forward to Frank De Lucia, Abilities, Inc. 2735 Whitney Road, Clearwater, FL 33760-1610, or call 727-600-8900. 

Tax-wise planning tips

Year-end gifts of cash vs. stocks

We hope you'll consider a year-end donation. Gifts of cash are fully deductible up to a maximum of 50% of your adjusted gross income. And we always welcome cash contributions. However, if you donate stocks or other assets that have gone up in value and you've owned them for longer than 12 months, it's generally more beneficial to contribute stocks than cash. This is because a gift of appreciated stock offers a two-fold tax-savings: first, you avoid paying any capital-gains tax on the increase in value of the stock; second, you receive an income-tax charitable deduction for the full fair-market value of the stock at the time of the gift.

Do you need a will

In conversations with friends of Abilities, we've learned that many do not have a will, or they have a will that hasn't been updated for a number of years and does not reflect their present wishes and circumstances. Do you need a will? Is it important that it is current? The answers are a definite YES! If you wish what you have accumulated will be distributed as you desire, and not as someone else, usually the state, determines, you must have a current will. The answer is also a definite YES if you wish to avoid problems for your heirs and save on costs. And the answer is also a definite YES if you wish to include a bequest — which we hope you do — to help Abilities or another favorite charity. A bequest has been rightly called the 'The Last Act of Stewardship,' as it is a final opportunity to express thanks for the many gifts we've received throughout our lifetime. Please be certain to seek the advice of your attorney and tax advisor when planning how your assets will be distributed. And as you create or revise your will, kindly keep Abilities in mind. There are many ways to ensure that you provide for your family and loved ones AND help to further our mission to improve the lives and families of Floridians with disabilities.

Giving through memorials

Memorial gifts to Abilities are a wonderful way to pay tribute to a deceased relative or friend. Often made in lieu of flowers or as a special remembrance, these thoughtful gestures underscore your support of our mission. Why not commemorate as well, a birthday, holiday, anniversary, or graduation with a tax-deductible gift in honor of a loved one? Won't people be surprised when they receive a letter from us advising them of your generosity and admiration?

Use corporate matching gift programs

Guild president Dan Mettee took our corporate matching gift advice to heart. As a retired Levi Strauss executive, Dan inquired about matching gifts and was told that his volunteer hours might quality. He submitted an application based on the number of hours he logged for the Abilities Guild last year. Shortly thereafter, Abilities received a $1,600 contribution from the Levi Strauss Foundation in recognition of Dan's volunteerism! "I really didn't know what to expect," he said, "but I was so pleased they acknowledged my support of the Guild." Many thanks to Dan for pursuing this wonderful opportunity. Insofar as many corporations match charitable contributions, we strongly encourage you and your spouse to inquire with your current employer or company from which you've retired. A dollar-for-dollar match or gift in recognition of your volunteerism is a quick and painless way to support our work. Call Frank De Lucia at 727-600-8900 for more information and a list of corporations with matching gift programs. 

Community Contributions Tax Credit

Florida corporate taxpayers who help our Homes For Independence program acquire or improve residences for Floridians with disabilities classified as having low income may qualify for the Community Contributions Tax Credit, which, when combined with state and federal income-tax deductions, can reduce the after-tax cost of their donations to 29¢ on the dollar! Sounds too good to be true, but isn't. A brief application that we complete and submit does it all. Among those who've utilized the credits are Raymond James, Tech Data, and Jim's Harley-Davidson. To support affordable, accessible housing and take advantage of this extraordinary tax incentive, call Frank De Lucia at 727-600-8900 for details.

Philanthropy through life insurance  

Another tax-wise method of support is a gift of life insurance, which may be an option for people who no longer need the financial protection of an existing policy. Assigning a life insurance policy to or designating the Abilities, Inc. as charitable beneficiary is an easy way to make a substantial gift without reducing current assets. Also, you may qualify for an immediate income-tax deduction. For more information, consult your tax advisor or call 727-538-600-8900.

Ease a veteran's transition from homelessness to apartment life with a tax-deductible gift  

An alarming number of disabled veterans are homeless or living in substandard housing. Even after veterans qualify for subsidized housing assistance from the VA, most don't have basic essentials like coffeemakers, crock pots, pots 'n pans, dishes, linens, and towels. Unwilling to accept this reality, the Abilities Guild established the Veterans Mall, a large storeroom of household items given for free to disabled veterans and their families. To date, 1,100 veterans have been served, but the demand for items far outweighs the supply. Kindly consider making a tax-deductible contribution to Abilities, Inc. Your gift will be used to purchase kitchen and bath essentials at discount prices and ensure that veterans will have the basics they need to a successful transition to community life.

Avoid becoming a victim of identity theft

Identity theft occurs when someone uses another's personal information without their permission to commit fraud or other crimes using the victim's name, Social Security number, or other identifying information. When it comes to federal income taxes, taxpayers may not be aware they have become victims of identity theft until they receive a letter from the IRS stating more than one tax return was filed with their information or that IRS records show wages from an employer the taxpayer has not worked for in the past. Recent accounts in the news underscore just how difficult it can be to rectify the situation with the IRS, banks, and credit card companies.

Tips for Deducting Charitable Contributions


When preparing to file your federal tax return, don’t forget your contributions to charitable organizations. Your donations could add up to a sizeable tax deduction if you itemize on IRS Form 1040, Schedule A. Here are a few tips from to ensure your contributions pay off on your tax return:

1. Contributions must be made to qualified organizations to be deductible. You cannot deduct contributions made to specific individuals, political organizations and candidates.

2. You cannot deduct the value of your time or services, nor can you deduct the cost of drawings, bingo, or other games of chance.

3. If your contributions entitle you to merchandise, goods or services, including admission to a charity ball, banquet, theatrical performance or sporting event, you can deduct only the amount that exceeds the fair market value of the benefit received.

4. Donations of stock or other property are usually valued at the fair market value of the property. Special rules apply to donation of vehicles.

5. Clothing and household items donated must generally be in good used condition or better to be deductible.

6. Regardless of the amount, to deduct a contribution of cash, check, or other monetary gift, you must maintain a bank record or a written communication from the organization containing the name of the organization, the date of the contribution and amount of the contribution.

7. To claim a deduction for contributions of cash or property equaling $250 or more you must obtain a written acknowledgment from the qualified organization showing the amount of the cash and a description of any property contributed, and whether the organization provided any goods or services in exchange for the gift. One document from the organization may satisfy both the written communication requirement for monetary gifts and the written acknowledgement requirement for all contributions of $250 or more.

8. If you claim a deduction of more than $500 for all contributed property, you must attach IRS Form 8283, Noncash Charitable Contributions, to your return.

9. Taxpayers donating an item or a group of similar items valued at more than $5,000 must also complete Section B of Form 8283, which requires an appraisal by a qualified appraiser.

For more information on charitable contributions, check out Publication 526, Charitable Contributions, which is available at IRS.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

* Source: IRS Tax Tip 2009-57

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