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.

When It’s OK to Get Rid of Past Tax-Time Paperwork

Sorting through your tax-time paperwork is certainly burdensome, but worse still is having to store it for years without ever knowing when it’s OK to get rid of it. Wisebread says that while you should keep a copy of each return indefinitely, taxpayers can shred most supporting documents after three years. Keep only the paperwork that lists the purchase price of any securities you own, so that you can later report any gains or losses. If you claimed a capital loss on a past year’s return, however, keep that documentation for seven years.