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Take advantage of tax deductions for charitable donations

AS 2012 draws to a close, the final date for making charitable donations and qualifying for tax deductions on this year's tax return is quickly approaching

New Year's Eve at 11: 59 p.m. is the very last moment that you can reduce your 2012 taxable income by making a charitable donation. And it's the busiest day of the year for - Canada's online resource for online donations. Last year, processed more than $2.5 million in donations on Dec. 31. In B.C., on that one day in 2011, 1,457 donations totaling $360,539 were made. makes it easy for people to find any registered Canadian charity and donate securely online. And the best part for those last minute Canadians making donations on New Year's Eve? provides immediate online tax receipts.

Last month Visa Canada and announced that they were teaming up to help Canadians maximize their charitable donations this holiday season and beyond. Until April 30, 2013, Visa will contribute a one-time gift of $10 when donors set up a new monthly donation on CanadaHelps. org. The donation can be made to any registered charity in Canada.

"Monthly giving is a practical option for many as it allows donors to spread out their giving over a period of time rather than requiring it be all paid up front," said Owen Charters, president and CEO,, in a media release.

"Monthly giving also allows charities to predict annual revenue leading to better and more realistic planning and resourcing."

Setting up monthly donations on is simple and allows donors to set up automatic monthly donations using their Visa credit, debit or reloadable prepaid card. These pre-authorized payments allow donors to set it and forget it, providing their favourite charities with an ongoing flow of funds.

"Giving back to the communities where we live and work continues to be an important priority for Visa," said Jim Allhusen, country manager, Visa Canada, in the release. "It's gratifying to be able to play a role in supporting the much needed work being done by, particularly as they touch so many deserving charities throughout the country."

The process for giving is both quick and easy. Through, you can set up automatic monthly donations. To have these donations qualify for the Visa gift, simply:

? Select the charity you wish to donate your funds to.

? Set the amount of the donation. Note a minimum donation of $10 is required in order to qualify for the Visa gift.

? Select the day of the month to be charged. Monthly donations must be set for at least one year to be eligible.

? Complete the payment with your Visa credit, debit or reloadable prepaid card.

Visa will contribute up to a maximum of $30,000 for the program.

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