April is the cruelest month, breeding taxes out of deductions, itemizing memory and credits, feeding Uncle Sam's roots with our hard earned wealth.

"Since no good deed goes unpunished, the federal income tax rules for deducting personal charitable donations are complicated. Here’s what you need to know to claim your rightful deductions:

Charitable deduction basics

"Depending on the type of charity and whether you contribute cash or other stuff, your charitable write-off can potentially be limited to 20%, 30% or 50% of your adjusted gross income (AGI). AGI is the number at the bottom of Page 1 of your Form 1040. It includes all taxable income items and selected write-offs such as the ones for alimony paid and moving expenses. Contributions that exceed the applicable AGI limit can be carried over for up to five years and hopefully deducted in those future years."--Bill Bischoff, Market Watch