MLR

Can couples factor tax deductions into their wedding plans?

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With spring finally in the air in many parts of the country, is someone in your family planning a wedding? With the cost of nuptial celebrations continuing to rise, it would be nice if you could find a way to make part of the expense tax-deductible. 

Here are four ideas: 

1. Donate the wedding dress to an organization that specializes in finding a new home for slightly used wedding gowns. Check online for charities that provide wedding dresses for military brides and others who cannot afford the cost of a new gown.

2. Give leftovers to a food pantry or soup kitchen. If you plan ahead and find one that can accommodate perishable food and desserts in bulk, your leftovers can feed those in need.

3. Donate used but usable decorations to Goodwill or a similar charity.

4. Give wedding flowers to a nonprofit. There are charitable organizations that will take fresh flowers to people who need a day-brightener. Check with your florist for the name of a local charity.

In all cases, be sure to get receipts from the charities and document the condition and value of each item donated. Donating to a church or the VFW in return for waiving the facilities fee for your reception is not tax-deductible. The same is true if you have your reception at a museum or historical landmark. If you give more than the usual cost of the facilities, though, the excess is deductible. 

If tax planning is part of your objective, it’s probably a good idea to include a discussion with your tax adviser in your wedding plans.