Charitable donations are on the rise with more and more Americans giving to charity. While you may not donate to charity just for the potential tax deduction, it can be a bonus. You should always try to donate in a tax-efficient way.

Here are a few helpful hints regarding charitable gifts:

Know who you are donating to: Only donate to organizations with tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status. These are the only deductions that are deductible on your tax return. Before you donate to a charity check to verify its 501(c)(3) status. You can research tax-exempt organizations on the National Center for Charitable Statistics website.

Avoid capital-gains tax-Taxpayers can avoid paying the capital-gains tax by deducting contributions of various kinds of property. It should be noted that physical property worth more than $5,000 will need an appraisal of its value to claim the deduction.

Give it to the kids. Taxpayers can gift up to $14,000 annually tax-free. A gift to your child can be an easy way to reduce your income and tax bite. The gift recipient is liable for tax on any gifts.

While paying taxes is inevitable, giving to charity may help reduce what you need to donate to Uncle Sam.

Everyone loves a green and gorgeous lawn. When it is time to either start or fix your lawn you have lots of decisions to make. One major option to consider is if you should choose seed or sod?  There are a few factors you will want to consider before making the choice.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both seed and sod.

Here are some of the advantages of grass seed:

-less expensive than sod

- installs much quicker

-may be more viable option in shady areas

-seed blends may be better for difficult to grow areas

Here are some of the disadvantages of grass seed:

-seed cannot be used immediately

-requires attention while growing

-can develop weeds and patchy bare areas

-can be difficult to grow in areas where erosion is a problem

-can only be planted at certain times of the year

Here are some of the advantages of sod:

-usable lawn much quicker

-few if any weeds

-no risk of erosion

-wider range of appropriate planting times

Here are some of the disadvantages of sod:

-more expensive to buy and install

-must be ordered through a local sod farm or professional landscaper

-can be difficult to grow in very shady areas.

Proper preparation and care is important whether you choose grass seed or sod. If you are unsure the best option for your yard consult a professional landscaper.


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