when you do your taxes this year, don’t forget to deduct the fair market value of your non cash charitable contributions. they can add up quickly.
here are a few quick tips to get you started:
- clothing and household items donated must generally be in good used condition or better to be deductible.
- if you make any non cash contribution, you must get and keep a receipt from the charitable organization showing: 1) the name of the charitable organization, 2) the date and location of the charitable contribution, and 3) a reasonably detailed description of the property. you are not required to have a receipt where it is impractical to get one (for example, if you leave property at a charity’s unattended drop site).
- to claim a deduction for contributions of cash or property equaling $250 or more you must obtain a written acknowledgment from the qualified organization showing the amount of the cash and a description of any property contributed, and whether the organization provided any goods or services in exchange for the gift.
- if you claim a deduction of more than $500 for all contributed property, you must attach irs form 8283, noncash charitable contributions, to your return.
- taxpayers donating an item or a group of similar items valued at more than $5,000 must also complete section b of form 8283, which requires an appraisal by a qualified appraiser.
- to determine the fair market value of a charitable contribution, there are no fixed formulas or methods. you should claim as the value the price that buyers of used items actually pay in used clothing stores, such as consignment or thrift shops. the salvation army offers a value guide to get you started.
if you have questions regarding the process of deducting your non cash charitable contributions, you can find the heavy reading right here or consult a tax professional.
and as 2010 begins and your minimalizing continues, keep these guidelines close so that you can collect and store the appropriate paperwork for next year.