On December 16, the IRS released its Exempt Organization Newsletter, Issue Number 2013-25. Topics include the following:

  1. IRS to employers: Hire veterans by December 31 and save on taxes
  2. 2014 standard mileage rates for business, medical and moving announced
  3. Register for the phone forum:  ABCs of charitable contributions for 501(c)(3) organizations
  4. Copies of scanned EO returns available
  5. Don’t fall for charity scams following disasters

  1.  IRS to employers:  Hire veteran by December 31 and save on taxes

If you plan to hire soon, consider hiring veterans. If you do, you may be able to claim the federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit worth thousands of dollars.

You must act soon. The WOTC is available to employers who hire qualified veterans before the new year.

Read about the six key facts about the WOTC in this tax tip.

  2.  2014 standard mileage rates for business, medical, and moving announced

The IRS recently issued the 2014 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2014, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

  • 56 cents per mile for business miles driven
  • 23.5 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

For more information, read news release

  3.  Register for the phone forum:  ABCs of charitable contributions for 501(c)(3) organizations

This phone forum on December 19 at 2 p.m. ET will help charity leaders, tax practitioners and others understand the rules involving charitable donations.

Register now.

Presentation topics include:

  • Examples of qualified and unqualified organizations
  • Charitable donations allowed by the IRS
  • Acceptable non-cash contributions
  • Rules involving vehicle donation
  • Required written acknowledgement for donation
  • When significant intervening use applies
  • Donors’ record-keeping responsibilities
  • A brief summary on disaster relief

For more information on EO phone forums, go to the IRS Exempt Organizations Phone Forums page.

  4.  Copies of scanned EO returns available

Electronic copies of certain scanned Exempt Organization returns are available for purchase from the IRS. Tax year 2013 returns will be available when filed beginning in January 2014. The IRS is also updating the pricing for scanned returns.

  5.  Don’t fall for charity scams following disasters

The IRS warns consumers not to fall for bogus charity scams. They often occur in the wake of major disasters like the recent tornadoes in the Midwest or the typhoon in the Philippines. Thieves play on the goodwill of people who want to help disaster victims. They pose as a real charity in order to steal money or get private information to commit identity theft.

The scams use different tactics. Offering charity relief, criminals often:

  • Claim to be with real charities to gain public trust.
  • Use names similar to legitimate charities.
  • Use email to steer people to bogus websites that often look like real charity sites.
  • Contact people by phone or email to get them to ‘donate’ money or give their financial information.

For more information, read tax tip.