Who Else Wants To Save Hundreds Of Dollars In Income Taxes Each Year?

Hi. This is Sherry Peel Jackson back with another installment in our series on BASIC FINANCIAL SURVIVAL

Since we are getting close to the end of the year and many are preparing for tax time I’ll give you a tax tip to snatch more of your money back from the Insidious Representatives of Satan, also known as the IRS.

This tax tip will work for people that itemize deductions. If you usually complete the Schedule A this tip may help you acquire as much as $5,000 in deductions, or even more!

This tax tip is called the Salvation Army/Goodwill goodie. Most of you know that on the Schedule A/Itemized Deductions form there’s an area for contributions. Contributions come in the form of cash and non-cash. Cash contributions are monies that you give to non-profit organizations like churches, humanitarian charities and civic associations. Non-cash contributions are items given to these same organizations.

On the Schedule A in the section entitled “Gifts To Charity” There is a line that says “Gifts by cash or check” and another line that says “Other than by cash or check.” At the end of each year most people receive statements from churches and other organizations that detail how much cash they gave. However, most people put $500 or less on the “other than cash” line. This is where people miss out on thousands in deductions.

If you plan to deduct more than $500 in non-cash charitable contributions the only thing you need to do is complete one extra form called the 8283. All that form asks you is who you gave to, when you gave, what you gave and the value of what you gave. Not a scary prospect at all.

Now I’ll tell you how to keep more of your hard earned cash.

When the American Kidney Fund or other charities call and say they will have a truck in your area, or when you accumulate enough clothes and other stuff in your closet that you need to give it away, do this:

  1. Take all of the clothes, shoes and other items out of the closet and lay them neatly out on the floor.
  2. Take a picture of the items and print the picture as soon as possible.
  3. Take a pen and paper and write down all of the items that are on the floor.
  4. Place the items in a plastic bag and put the bag in the front porch if they are coming to get it, or in your car to take to the Goodwill.

Now, you will receive a receipt in the front door if they are picking the bag up, or you need to obtain a receipt if you are dropping the bag off. You have a receipt, a picture and a listing of what you gave. On the Salvation Army website is a thrift store value guide.

This guide gives the thrift store value for most items that we accumulate in our homes. For example, women’s suites are worth between $6 and $25. Well, you can’t tell most women that their suites aren’t worth at least $25. Therefore, 4 suites in one bag is a $100 write-off. Now I hope that you can see that one bag alone can be worth more than $500!

You can give as often as you want and accumulate as many receipts as you can get your hands on. To add to this goodie, you can get clothes and stuff from family members and friends that don’t itemize. If they don’t file tax returns or if they don’t have enough write-off’s to use the Schedule A, you can go to their homes, pick up their stuff and take it to the Salvation Army!

When they give you their stuff it is a gift to you, and its value is the same as it was when it belonged to them. For example, if Aunt Mary is 68 years old and doesn’t file any more but she gives you 4 nice suites, you can take them to the Goodwill and get a $100 write off from that gift! Make sure you have pictures and a listing of what Aunt Mary give you.

When you keep good records of what you gave, have your receipt from the charitable organization and have pictures you have two good legs to stand on if you are ever audited!

I try to give non-cash donations to organizations twice a month. That way I have at least 24 receipts at the end of the year. With the donated items listed on paper, an accepted thrift store valuation sheet and pictures to show that my deductions are legitimate and accurate I am confident that my donation deductions will stand up to any scrutiny.

I hope that helps you see that you still have time to get thousands of dollars in write offs this year. Here’s to charitable giving and keeping what we earn. If you’d like to learn more ways to keep what you earn, get my Basic Financial Survival book.

Until next time, this is Sherry Peel Jackson, signing out!

Dead Broke Ex IRS Agent Discovers Secret To Everlasting Wealth

Hi. This is Sherry Peel Jackson

Today we will start a series called BASIC FINANCIAL SURVIVAL. Some of the videos that I will present will contain materials from my book by the same name, and some of the videos will contain additional information that you will need to become debt free and improve your finances.

Let’s talk about delayed gratification. Some of you younger people may not be familiar with this term, but many of us older people were brought up hearing this term all of the time.

I like the prevailing Internet definition of delayed gratification.

It says that delayed gratification is the ability to resist the temptation for an immediate reward and wait for a later reward. Generally, delayed gratification is associated with resisting a smaller but more immediate reward in order to receive a larger or more enduring reward later.

One example that I can remember like it was yesterday is my father urging me not to go “boy crazy” when I got to high school. Here in Georgia in the 1970’s High School was 8th grade through 12th grade! When I started high school I was 12 years old, and there were boys there that were 18 years old! (Maybe that’s why Georgia had the highest teen pregnancy rate back then) At any rate, my dad told me that if I put my nose to the grindstone and got my school work done with excellence, my intelligence would shine brighter than the way my body fit in my jeans and I would get a REAL man and not just a male, when I was older.

He said that if I focused on my education and career I could avoid getting stuck with a whole bunch of babies and someone that didn’t have my best interest at heart. That was putting it mildly. I don’t think I should repeat his actual words on camera.

My parents taught me delayed gratification and I saved money instead of buying a lot of designer clothes, I finished school instead of dropping out and getting a low wage job and I waited to have children until I married and matured. I believe these delays made me more able to handle all of the obstacles that life has thrown at me. I learned endurance and that has been a much needed skill in my life the past decade.

One of the things that I’ve noticed is that whether young or old, people tend to reject the concept of delayed gratification these days. We’ve become a microwave society – wanting everything instantly and getting irritated when we have to wait. This impatience had caused our entire society to devolve into a consumer oriented debt ridden mess.

When it comes to finances, Americans are failing miserably at delayed gratification. The media has brainwashed us into accumulating mounds of debt. The main brainwashing concept is BUY NOW/PAY LATER. Credit card debt in the United States averages almost $16,000 per indebted household.

People are paying $120 for a pair of gym shoes that costs about $5 to produce. People are also paying thousands of dollars for designer furniture and appliances to look and feel important to their friends and associates. Even children are teasing other children that don’t wear the latest and greatest name brand clothes and shoes. This debt frenzy is why the savings rate in the United States is less than 5% annually. We spend all that we earn and then borrow when we have an emergency. We’re following the debt strapped federal government right into oblivion!

The other brainwashing concept is You DESERVE THE BEST/YOU DESERVE IT NOW. This one has lead people to go and buy the biggest cars and houses that the banks will let them sign for. These decisions have made many people slaves to homes and cars. By the way, did you know that the Latin for mortgage is debt until death? Many people never pay off their homes and are virtually renting until they die, never being able to transfer ownership to their children or grandchildren.

Enslaving the American people is all part of a grand plan to bring this country down and we have falling right into the trap!

Do you want to get out?

First stop spending money you don’t have. Put the credit cards on ice and only pay cash for what you buy. If you can’t pay cash then don’t buy it! I know people have to get cars but don’t buy a Benz when you should be buying a Buick!

Next, start paying down the debt using a well thought out strategy. Pay off the smallest bill then use that money to pay off the next one in line. For example, if you owe Sears $700 and Macys $1,200, pay the minimum on the Macys card and use all the extra, including your tax refund, to pay Sears off, then when Sears is paid off use the money you were paying Sears to pay off Macys! Is simple but if you are undisciplined you’ll stay a debt slave.

That ends our lesson for today. I hope you don’t feel fussed at, but it grieves my spirit to see so many people complaining about not having any money when they have 4 flat screen TV’s in the house and two luxury cars in the garage. Affluenza is a curable disease but we must want to be cured. If you want to be cured get my book, Basic Financial Survival.

Until next time, this is Sherry Peel Jackson. Signing out!