8 outlandish tax deductions to skip in 2014
See also: Adam, Eve and apple
Charitable donations are a great way to help others and lower your tax bill. That said, the IRS has rules that must be followed to claim a tax deduction for your generosity. You must make your donation to a qualified charitable organization and not an individual. You must itemize your donated items on Schedule A. Written receipts are often required.
Like Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, however, some taxpayers can't resist the lure of forbidden fruit, as one San Francisco CPA, who requested anonymity, found out.
"One client deducted food she donated to her local food bank every year, but last year, she didn't list that donation," the CPA says. "When I inquired, she said that she was getting too old to pick the apples from her trees."
The client explained that she'd decided instead to call the food bank and ask them to do the picking for her. They politely declined.
"I had always assumed she was donating groceries," the accountant says.