Without a doubt one of the best ways for us middle-class folks to reduce our income tax burden is to donate charitably with intent. Most of my clients find themselves pleasantly surprised at the tax benefits received when they go through the exercise of donating gently used household items to charity.

The IRS allows you to deduct the fair market value of ‘gently’ used items provided that the quality of the items when new, and the age of the items are considered when donating. When making a charitable donation be sure to get receipts to document the value of your donation. Also be sure to invest the 10 or 15 minutes to write down in line item detail the items being donated as this can serve as evidence to substantiate the claims made on the tax forms if scrutinized.

The IRS requires an item to be in good condition or better to take a deduction. The following donation value guide from Goodwill displays prices ranging from good to like new. If the total value of your in kind charitable donations exceeds $500 for the tax year you will need to file IRS Form 8283.

Also take note that many states, like Colorado for example, allow you to claim a charitable deduction on the state income tax form even if you do not Itemize your deductions federally on IRS Form 1040 Schedule A. The deductions add up quick, particularly when moving or if you routinely clean out your closets.

Without a doubt most folks in the suburbs are better served financially by making the charitable donation and getting a reduction in their income taxes than they are having a rummage sale. If you are inclined to donate any one item that is valued in excess of $5000 special rules apply that involve getting an appraisal.  Special rules also apply for donating vehicles.

Most importantly make sure that the organization you are donating to is eligible to receive a tax deductible donation. For more information on how to take a deduction, be sure to reach out to me for individualized feedback.  Other resources include:

https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p526.pdf

https://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc506.html

https://www.irs.gov/publications/p561/index.html

 

Goodwill’s Donation Value Guide by Category

Women’s Clothing

  • Blouse ($4 – $9)
  • Sweater ($4 – $13)
  • Pants ($4 – $23)
  • Dress ($6 – $28)
  • 2pc Suit ($10 – $96)
  • Handbag ($2 – $10)
  • Hat ($1 – $9)
  • Shoes ($3 – $30)

Men’s Clothing

  • Shirt ($4 – $6)
  • Sweater ($4 – $6)
  • Pants ($4 – $23)
  • 2pc Suit ($5 – $96)
  • Shoes ($3 – $30)
  • Jacket ($10 – $45)
  • Overcoat ($3 – $9)

Children’s Clothing

  • Shirt ($2 – $10)
  • Sweater ($2 – $10)
  • Pants/Jeans ($2 – $10)
  • Dress ($2 – $10)
  • Shoes ($3 – $10)
  • Boots ($6 – $10)
  • Snowsuit ($2 – $10)

Dry Goods

  • Pillow ($2 – $5)
  • Sheet ($2 – $9)
  • Blanket ($3 – $14)
  • Curtain ($2 – $7)
  • Drapes ($7 – $23)
  • Area Rug ($2 – $16)
  • Books ($0.59 – $2)

Furniture

  • Floor Lamp ($8 – $34)
  • Sofa ($40 – $395)
  • Table Lamp ($3 – $20)
  • Stuffed Chair ($10 – $75)
  • Kitchen Set ($35 – $135)
  • End Tables ($10 – $75)
  • Coffee Table ($15 – $100)
  • Dresser ($20 – $80)

Appliances

  • Iron ($3 – $10)
  • Vacuum Cleaner ($5 – $70)
  • Coffee Maker ($5 – $10)
  • Radio ($1 – $10)

Computer Equipment

  • Battery Back-ups ($1.50 – $2)
  • Desktop Computers ($20 – $50)
  • Keyboards ($0.30 – $10)
  • Laptops ($25 – $60)
  • Mice ($0.30 – $5.00)
  • Printers ($1 – $10)

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