Another gift of giving is being able to claim the donation on your tax return.
According to the IRS, you can deduct the fair market value of clothing, furniture, shoes, household goods or other items you’ve donated. Fair market value is the price a buyer would be willing to pay for the item and is based on the condition of the item. It’s illegal for charities to tell you what your donations are worth, but you can determine the fair market value of your items by referring to the guides available from the IRS. Additionally, these guides can help you figure out which organizations qualify for charitable contributions deductibles, how much you can deduct, what records and receipts you need, and more.
When making a monetary donation using cash, check or credit card, make sure you keep a copy of your receipt with the date, amount and name of the organization, just in case of an audit.
Non-cash donation regulations apply to deduction claims of more than $500 of clothing, furniture, and more. Non-cash claims of more than $5000 (such as in the case of a donated vehicle) require additional documentation that can be found on the IRS website under Tax Forms.
If counting a donation for which you received a gift in return, remember that your donation is the amount you gave minus the merchandise you received.
Finally, when calculating donations, be sure the donation took place in the tax year for which you are filing. While you can try to dig up your 2018 receipts, don’t rush to donate a bunch of stuff now to get a tax break this year. But do keep in mind that a donation now will benefit you next April.
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