Donate Clothes / Household Items For Tax Donation
Making a charitable donation of clothing or household items can be a mutually beneficial act for you and the charitable organization that receives your items. The IRS allows you to deduct the fair market value of your used items if you itemize your deductions on your tax return.
Donating your used goods should get you a larger tax refund. As tax law slightly changed year over year, make sure to take pictures of your donated good, especially if they resemble a higher deduction amount.
Steps to Donate your items – decide on the organization
Decide what charitable organization you would like to donate to. In order for your donation to be valid as a tax deduction, you must donate them to an IRS approved organization. Most religious organizations and non-profits qualify, but if you aren’t sure check with your organization of choice to find out if they have tax exempt status, or see the list of qualified organizations on the IRS website.
Keep dontation items clean
To get the maximum tax donation, ensure that your items are clean and in decent, used or even new condition. In fact, since 2006 the IRS requires that any items you intend to donate is in good condition in order for you to claim the donation as a tax deduction.
Estimate the donation value
Estimate the value of your donated goods. Some organizations such as The Salvation Army help you with guidelines to figure out how much your old stuff is worth. Either use their valuation guide or a tool provided by a tax provider such as TurboTax Premier.
Take pictures of donation
Create a list with pictures to document and describe your donated items and their value. If the amount of your donation exceeds $250, you will need to get a statement from the recipient organization that confirms the value of your items and also states that you did not receive any goods or services in exchange for your donation. You are not required to attach the statement to your tax return, but should keep it for your records in case of an audit.
Request a receipt of donated items
Ask for a receipt from the organization you are donating to. If your organization does not have a standard receipt form for donations, have them sign a copy of the list you made as acknowledgement of the value of your donation. If you have donated any single item whose value exceeds $500, you will need to complete and attach form 8283 which requires a signature from the charitable donation. Form 8283 also requires an appraisal for your item and a signature from the appraiser.
Report donated items
Add your donation information to your itemized deduction worksheet. When completing your taxes for the year, add the value of your donation to form 1040 Schedule A on line 17. If the list contains any item that was $500 or more in value, attach the completed form 8283 to your return when you file your taxes.
Did you know
- Keep your receipts for any donations safely filed away in case of an audit.
- Keep pictures of your items.