Many taxpayers miss out on deductions from charitable contributions. In order to make the most of these deductions, keep your receipts and take pictures. Schneider told me, "Another mistake is not having receipts for certain deductions, most commonly charitable donations of stuff versus money. You need to have the receipt from the organization and you should also have a list of everything you donated."
Don't stop with receipts, either. Schneider recommended, "If you can take pictures of these items, that would go a long way as well. Several organizations like Goodwill and the Salvation Army have valuation lists."
Melinda Kibler, a certified financial planner, enrolled agent, and client service and portfolio manager with Palisades Hudson Financial Group agreed. She told me, "Whether you dropped off a bag of clothing at a local charity, or donated five dollars at the cash register of your grocery store, you should be tracking all of these contributions to ensure you get the highest tax benefit possible."
Kibler shared this pro tip as well. "Many taxpayers do not realize you can use a standard mileage rate of 14 cents a mile to figure out your vehicle deduction for miles driven in service to a charitable organization. You can also deduct parking fees and tolls in addition to the standard mileage rate."