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A burst before the first

Lawrence Pierce
Goodwill of Kanawha Valley employees Rick Myers Sr. (left) and Scott McIntosh sort through piles of donations received in the last few days of 2012. McIntosh said he's been busy writing receipts donors use to claim a tax credit.
Lawrence Pierce On Monday, a steady stream of cars came through Goodwill's drop-off location on the West Side.
Lawrence Pierce A little bit of everything is donated at Goodwill, including a Santa Claus figurine and an old teddy bear.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- People scrambled to turn in charitable donations Monday as 2012 came to a close, the director of community relations for Goodwill Industries of Kanawha Valley said.

"This is generally our highest time of the year for donations," said Kathy McKinley. "We try and pull in full staff and have all hands on deck."

Many want a charitable tax deduction, and McKinley said the drop-off location makes sure to have plenty of people ready to write donation receipts.

Covenant House also sees an influx of donations at the end of the year, said Ellen Allen, executive director. This year, that increase began before Thanksgiving, she said.

End-of-the-year donations are common at nonprofit charities, Allen said, because people are feeling more generous during the holidays and want to take advantage of tax credits.

This year the charities saw a 190 percent increase in community donations compared to last year, Allen said. Covenant House gets state and federal money for housing programs and HIV/AIDS prevention programs, but has to raise 40 percent of its budget with community donations.

"We will use these donations throughout the year, but the need is 12 months of the year," Allen said. "We're very grateful for a community that has responded the way this community has."

Most of the donations come through the mail but five to 10 people a day donate food, clothing and hygiene products at the charity, she said.

As many are uncertain about what 2013 holds in terms of finances. Steve Robey, the managing partner of Arnett Foster Toothman PLLC, who handles the firm's tax practice, said charitable contributions might become more valuable in the year ahead.

"Some may want to accelerate income into 2012 and defer deductions until 2013," he said.

The end of 2012 has been busier than most for tax professionals, who are planning for uncertain events, Robey said Monday morning. He noted he would be in the office throughout the day.

"We're not sure at this hour what's going to happen for the 2013 tax year. In all likelihood, for the majority of clients we serve, their tax rates will be going up in 2013," he said. "We're having to look at things differently."

Secretary of State Natalie Tennant's office was open Monday for business owners who wanted to get paperwork done before the end of the year.

The end of the year is a popular time for business owners to file paperwork to either start or dissolve their businesses, spokesman Jake Glance said. That's because if business owners operate during any part of the year, they must file annual reports for that year. Business owners who dissolved their businesses before Tuesday do not have to file annual reports for 2013, he said.

On the last business day of 2011, Tennant's office had about 150 filings, Glance said. About 25 of those were dissolutions.

Also on New Year's Eve, Tennant's office generated tens of thousands of identification numbers for West Virginia businesses to file their annual reports online. Those businesses that wait until the first of the year to file their paperwork won't get their numbers until the end of 2013.

There are about 80,000 limited liability companies and corporations in West Virginia, Glance said. This year, 50,000 of them filed their annual reports online.

Reach Lori Kersey at lori.kersey@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1240. Reach Kate White at kate.white@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1723.


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