2012 is not that far away -- we're already well into the last quarter of the year. Now is a good time to think about lowering your 2011 income-tax liability. There are many steps you can take to do this, but most must be taken before the end of the year. If you itemize your deductions on your tax return, an excellent way to reduce your taxes is to make charitable contributions. The tax law is designed to encourage you to do so. The best time to make cash contributions is at the end of the year. You get the same deduction as for contributions made earlier, but more time in which to earn interest on your money. Indeed, most charities receive a rush of contributions at year-end. What contributions are deductible? Subject to overall limits, you may take an itemized deduction for money, or the fair market value of property, you give to charity. However, only contributions to "qualified organizations" are deductible. These include: churches, temples, synagogues, mosq...
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