To take a 2014 charitable donations deduction, the gift must be made by Dec. 31, 2014. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), a donation generally is “made” at the time of its “unconditional delivery.” But what does this mean? Is it the date you, for example, write a check or make an online gift via your credit card? Or is it the date the charity actually receives the funds — or perhaps the date of the charity’s acknowledgment of your gift?

The delivery date depends in part on what you donate and how you donate it. Below are 4 common donation methods:

  1. Check – The date you mail it.
  2. Credit card – The date you make the charge.
  3. Pay-by-phone account – The date the financial institution pays the amount.
  4. Stock certificate – The date you mail the properly endorsed stock certificate to the charity.

Many additional rules apply to the charitable donation deduction, so please contact us our tax advisor team in Michigan, Houston and Ft. Lauderdale if you have questions about the deductibility of a gift you’ve made or are considering making. But act soon — you don’t have much time left to make donations that will reduce your 2014 tax bill.