Making charitable donations by Dec. 31, can help not only charities but also the tax situation of individuals and businesses that are donating.
The state of Michigan offers special tax credits to donations made to certified organizations providing overnight accomodations, food or meals to indigents. The Michigan tax credit is 50 percent of the contribution — or up to $100 on a single return and up to $200 on a joint return. These credits also can be combined with any federal tax deduction, which may reduce the out-of-pocket cost of a contribution by up to 85 percent.
This means a gift of $400 from a couple in the 35 percent federal tax bracket could actually have a net cost of just $60 after all credits and deductions are applied. Donors should see their accountants for specific details.
There are a number of organizations providing matching grants. Gleaners’ Board of Directors is matching dollar for dollar, the first $50,000 donated to Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan. Visit www.gcfb.org. Huntington Bank is matching dollar for dollar, for every donation made to Forgotten Harvest, until a total of $25,000 has been reached by donors. Visit www.forgottenharvest.org.
If you have stuff to donate, like furniture and clothing, the Salvation Army and other thrift stores are open Dec. 31 for donations.
It's technically too late to pay property taxes, unless your local office is open, most are not. However, a township official said that as long as you don't claim that payment on your following year's taxes, you will be fine, unless you get audited.
Most mortgage companies are not open today.
— The Oakland Press