Donations to charity are a viable tax-deduction option

It’s almost time for the tax year to be finished, and you want to avoid the hope that you might owe the IRS money come tax day. One of the best things to do to deduct from what you owe is to donate cash to a charity. Here’s a few ways to do that as the year comes to an end:

Donate money to an organization

This is a simple way to help chip away at the money you owe Uncle Sam at the end of the year. There are several well-known organizations that accept monetary donations, like the American Red Cross, UNICEF and Goodwill.

It’s important to ensure that organization you’re donating to is 501(c)(3) and is registered with the IRS. For more information, visit the IRS website.

Donating a vehicle or similar motor-powered vehicle

If you’re car is an old-clunker that’s on its last legs, and you don’t think the cash you’ll receive for it if you sell or trade-it in isn’t really worth the hassle. Maybe it’s inoperable. Donate it.

Now, don’t expect or overvalue your trade. You’ll only be able to deduct what the organization gets for selling your car. Even if the Kelley Blue Book says your car is worth $4,000 in fair condition, a $2,500 sales prices will generate a $2,500 deduction.

The IRS has more information on the rules of donating your car for tax purposes. Remember, once the car leaves your hands, you’ll be responsible for anything that happens to it if you don’t remove the registration on it. Check out this Consumer Reports article with car donation tax deduction do's and don't's.

Donate clothing

Yes, you can receive a write-off for donating your old clothing to charity. It doesn’t mean you’ll be receiving a huge lump-sum deduction for your items, but you’ll get something, which is better than nothing.

The Salvation Army and Goodwill have guides for donors to estimate the value of their clothing donations. Visit their websites for more information on donations.