July 5, 2019

Save Taxes with Donations: This is how you proceed

During the Christmas period, nonprofit organizations send more donations by post. Also at the front door or in the pedestrian precinct you are addressed to donations for a good cause. Whenever you donate a certain amount, do it naturally to help. As a rule, you do not expect anything in return. Nevertheless, it may also be useful for you to get a donation receipt. So you can deduct the donations with the next tax return and save money in this way.

How can you donate for a good cause?

Whenever you donate for a good cause, you can provide it in the next income tax return. As a result, the donations are deducted in the determination of income as special expenses. That’s possible with up to 20 percent of your total income. If you want to deduct the donations from the tax, you need a so-called donation receipt for the tax office (former donation receipt). Typically, you will receive one automatically sent by large organizations, at the latest by February of the following year, after donating. In any case, ask the organization or association whether you will receive a donation receipt, with which you can claim your donations for a good cause for tax purposes. You must first submit the donation receipt on request of the tax office. This means: You only have to retain the document.

Tax savings through donations up to 200 euros

Donations of up to 200 euros must also be available at the tax office. In this case you need the following documents:

  • Document via a cash deposit or account statement
  • Voucher of the donation recipient over the tax-privileged purpose
  • For online donations: printed donation receipt

A donation confirmation is not necessary for donations up to 200 Euro.

  • Name of the charitable organization, the association etc.
  • account number
  • Day of booking
  • Amount of the donation amount
  • Note on the tax-privileged purpose
  • If you want to save taxes by donating to charities, the receipt should include a note that the organization is exempt from corporate tax.

Save Taxes with Donations: What Should You Know?

  • Donations are listed directly in the form of the tax return.
  • Donations receipts and other evidence you submit directly with the tax return to the tax office. As a precaution, you can also submit a copy of the certificates and keep the original with you. So you can not lose any important documents. Contribution confirmations are available on request.
  • If the donations exceed 20 percent of your income in one year, you can claim them for tax purposes in the following year.
  • If you make a donation abroad, you should inform yourself in advance whether a foreign donation receipt meets the requirements of the tax office, in order to be sure that you can donate the donation. It is important that the donation meets the requirements of German charitable law. You must provide proof of this. This is possible, for example, by presenting the statutes of the foreign organization.
  • If you donate on a regular basis and do not want to claim the benefits first in the next income tax return, you have the option of applying for a tax deduction at the tax office. As a result, you already pay less income tax during the year. However, it is a prerequisite that the donations, together with other special editions, are at least € 600 above the total cost of advertising fee of € 1,000. You will provide proof of donations for a good cause with the next tax return.
  • If you want to save taxes through donations, but do not want to donate money, you can also make a donation in kind.
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