When you’re a week from the tax filing deadline, there’s only a couple things you can do to lower your tax liability. This year there’s one more option on that very short list: a new, last minute deduction just signed into law that allows you to claim a 2014 deduction for 2015 donations to charities aiding the families of slain New York Police Department Detectives Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos.
Since the popular news these days is about the bad apples in the police force, it’s easy to forget that most of them are good people, who are legitimately trying to make ours lives better, who have families waiting at home, praying each night that their spouse or mother or father comes home to them, knowing that there’s a chance that they won’t.
My father-in-law is a retired highway patrol officer, and I’ve picked up on some of that worry, especially through the story or two where he was literally a foot away from death.
If you do wish to donate to the slain detectives, you can claim any cash contributions made to a qualified charitable organization on your 2014 tax return as long as the payment is made before April 15, 2015.
Note, since there’s always stipulations for anything related to tax, you can’t donate property, but donations through text, check, credit card, electronic funds transfer, or PayPal are all considered cash deductions. And, like all cash contributions, it must be made through an organization and not directly to an individual.
I’m a little disappointed that such a law can’t cast a slightly wider net to all officers slain while in the line of duty, but I do feel for these families, and can’t complain that the IRS is doing a bit to help out.
In my quick search, I found a qualified charitable organization over at the New York Daily News. I’m sure there are others if that one doesn’t suit your fancy.