Monday, May 03, 2010

Tax Themed Mothers Day Gifts

Mother’s Day is less than a week away, and it is one of my favorite days of the year. My mom sacrificed a lot for my brothers and I and I am grateful for all the life skills and lessons she taught me. To help the readers of my blog who are looking for ideas on how to show appreciation for their own mothers, I have put together the following list of tax themed gifts for moms.

Flowers with a Twist

Roses and flowers always make for good Mother’s Day gift, but in addition to visiting your local florist you could stop by a local office supply store to give a tax themed to gift. The April 15th deadline was only a few weeks ago so why not give your mother a new set of folders to store her tax documents or a calculator to check her withholdings. You may not think about an office supply store when you are doing your mothers day shopping, but these types of presents are great for the finance savvy mom, and will last longer than a bouquet of flowers.

Donation to Breast Cancer Research

Instead of buying your mother a gift that will only last a few weeks, she might appreciate a donation on her behalf to a charitable cause. If you are looking for a good place to make a contribution, I highly recommend the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation. You can make a donation online, and print out a copy of your receipt to include in a Mother’s Day card. Then, next tax season your mother can claim the charitable contribution on her federal return.

Tax Planning and Advice Books

There is no better tax themed gift to give someone than a tax planning or advice book. You can purchase a copy of my book – The Tax Lady's Guide to Beating the IRS and Saving Big Bucks on Your Taxes – on Or check out this link of dozens of other tax advice books and guides.

Gift Card for Energy Efficient Upgrades

By purchasing a gift card for your mother at a home repair store such as Lowes or Home Depot, you can basically give her a tax credit for next year. Just tell her to use the gift cards to purchase qualifying energy efficient upgrades to her home and save the receipts for next tax season. If you want to get creative, you could even print out pictures of qualifying appliances to include in a Mother’s Day card. For more information on what upgrades qualify for the federal incentives, take a look at the page on Energy

Dinner at a Local Charity Gala

When you attend a charity dinner you can claim a charitable deduction for the price you paid for the ticket, minus the value of the food you are served. For example, if you paid $200 per ticket to take your mother to a local charity gala, but were served meals with an approximate value of $50 each, then you – or your mom – could claim a total of $300 as a charitable contribution deduction next year ($200x2 - $50x2 = $300).

New Hybrid or Electric Vehicle

If you are looking to spend a hefty chunk of change on your Mother this year, then consider buying her a new hybrid or electric vehicle. The 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid qualifies for a $3,400 credit, and there are plenty of other credits for electric vehicles.

Start Saving for her Grandchild's Education

If your mother is looking forward to seeing her grandchildren graduate from a decent college, then you could show her your commitment to saving for their education by opening up a 529 College Savings Plan. Although contributions are not exempt from income taxes, all withdrawals are tax free, meaning that you will not have to pay taxes on the interest that accumulates in the account.

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