Keep Paperwork Long After You File

The Organizing Blog urges you to do a little bit of #decluttering every day, except when it comes to financial documents. The IRS asks that you keep tax returns and supporting documentation for three years after you file, meaning you should still have all of your 2015 paperwork on file today. If there was a year in which you weren’t required to file, document the circumstances and keep the proof indefinitely. Other “forever” paperwork includes loan documents and payoff confirmations; divorce, child support and alimony papers; and birth certificates, Social Security cards and military discharge papers.

Valuing Donated Goods for Tax Deduction

Major tax-preparation programs and applications from companies such as H&R Block, TaxAct and TurboTax offer valuation guides for used goods like those you often #donate to, offering a range of values based on condition. Each pair of pants, for example, is worth about $5–$12 at resale, and that amount is deductible. Be forewarned, however, that the threshold for deductible donations of lightly used clothing and goods is typically $500, so try to #declutter often. If you would like to make a larger charitable donation, consult IRS Publication 526 for information.

At Tax Time, Decluttering Is Its Own Reward

Your 2018 tax returns won’t reward charitable #donations quite as much due to reforms included in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which boosts the standard #deduction and makes itemizing less favorable for many taxpayers. But #donating used clothing, household goods, furniture, books and other items to can at least encourage peace of mind and boost productivity by #organizing and #decluttering your home. Once you #declutter, you’ll have more time and energy to accomplish other to-dos such as exercising and cleaning, says Let’s Reach Success.

Claim a Deduction for Your Donations

When you #donate a substantial amount of used goods such as clothing, housewares, furniture, books and other items to, you can claim a charitable deduction on your federal 1040 form if you itemize. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows taxpayers to deduct the fair market value for such goods — an estimate of what a buyer might pay for the used goods based on condition. will provide you with a receipt for your #donation upon pickup, but you must estimate the value of the goods donated according to IRS Form #8283 to take a deduction.

Donating Clothing, Money Helps Save on Taxes

If you want to deduct contributions of used goods made to, the value of the deduction is approximately equal to whatever the goods’ fair market value was at the time of the donation. “You should clearly contribute, rather than throw out, old clothes, furniture and equipment that you no longer use,” Charity Navigator says. Be sure to get a receipt, however, if you plan to claim donations of used goods as a tax write-off, and if you donate money directly, the IRS will require a canceled check, credit card statement, bank statement or a written acknowledgment from the charity as proof.