You can opt out of checking your calendar. It really is autumn, even if lower temperatures did not receive a message across most of the United States.
If you have children, autumn is marked by the return of the little ones to the classroom. It seems to be happening in more places displacement from the pandemic COVID-19 to the endemic phase of the coronavirus.
Many parents also discover at this time of year that their children have grown up. A lot. That means new outfits.
In large families, nuclear and extended, outgrown outfits turn into homemade things. But if you don’t have anyone to take your still-good-but-unusable outfits, consider donating them to a charity.
Some subscribers may even find their charitable gifts refunded to them when they file their taxes increasing their itemized deduction amount.
Still worth it for some: I understand that fewer taxpayers are itemizing now. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 made this deduction much less attractive by essentially doubling the standard deduction amounts.
But some people find every filing season that filling out Schedule A offers them a larger deduction.
I charitable donations is one area that can increase your itemized deduction claims. This includes gifts of clothing and household items.
Goods when donating good goods: Of course, as with any donation, you must follow Internal Revenue Service regulations.
The main consideration when it comes to donated clothing and household items is the condition of the item.
The IRS is specific in its Publication 526, Charitable Contributions“You can’t take a deduction for clothing or household items you donate, unless the clothing or household items are in good or better condition.”
This requirement was implemented to ban people from using non-profit groups as a dumping ground for items that should literally go to the city dump. It seems that some not-so-charitable people have been giving away broken appliances and incredibly shabby clothes, aka junk, and then claiming the not-so-good items as tax deductions.
This means that your gifts of clothing and household items should be in a condition that someone else will want.
A fair assessment of the value of things: Another notable tax rule when claiming donated goods is the value of the items.
Although you will receive a receipt for your donated items, if you do not, please consider leaving your items behind; legitimate non-profits provide gift certificates – you decide how much your donation was worth.
This is the value of the item as it was donated, not what you paid for it when it was new. This appraisal should be the item’s fair market value (FMV) at the time of the deposit.
If you’ve ever been to flea markets, garage sales, or thrift and thrift stores, you’re familiar with FMV. But here’s the IRS definition to make sure:
“Fair market value is the price at which the property would pass between a willing buyer and a willing seller, both needing not to buy or sell, and both having sufficient knowledge of all the relevant facts.”
If you don’t have time to research the number of FMVs in stores in your area,
You can also review the tables below to help you get what you owe for your donations without incurring additional interest from the IRS. I have based the amounts on the valuation guidelines provided Good will and The Salvation Army for items normally planted in donations by these charities.
Values are from lowest to highest average
|An article of clothing||Women’s clothing||Men’s clothing||Children’s outfit|
|Blouse, shirt||From $2 to $12||From $2 to $8||From $1 to $6|
|a t-shirt||From $1 to $6||From $1 to $6||From $0.50 to $3|
|A sweater||From $5 to $15||From $5 to $15||From $1 to $6|
|a skirt||From $2 to $12||From $1 to $6|
|a dress||From $2 to $10||From $2 to $15||From $2 to $12|
|Slacks||From $2 to $10||From $2 to $10||From $1 to $6|
|Jeans||From 4 to 21 dollars||From 4 to 21 dollars||From $2 to $10|
|Business suit (2 pcs.)||From $5 to $30||From $10 to $30|
|Vest||From $3 to $9||From $3 to $9||$1 to $3|
|An overcoat||From $7 to $40||From $7 to $50||From $3 to $15|
|shoes||From $2 to $26||From $4 to $26||From $3 to $9|
|Swimsuit||From $4 to $12||From $4 to $12||From $1 to $6|
|Handbag/briefcase/backpack||From $3 to $9||From $5 to $15||From $1 to $10|
|Evening dress||From $10 to $60||From $10 to $40|
|Item||From low to high value||Item||From low to high value|
|Kitchen utensils||From $0.50 to $1.50||Washing machine||From $41 to $156|
|Glasses/mugs/cups||From $0.50 to $1.50||Dryer||From $47 to $93|
|Plates||From $0.50 to $3||Color TV||From $75 to $230|
|Pots and pans||$1 to $3||radio||From $8 to $50|
|Kitchen/dining room set||From $40 to $100||Stereo||From $16 to $78|
|Sofa||From $30 to $150||VCR/DVD player||$8 to $16|
|Coffee table||$10 to $12||LPs, CDs, DVDs||From $1 to $5|
|End table||From $4 to $20||Paperback books||$1 to $2|
|Throw the carpet||From $2 to $12||Books, hard cover||$1 to $3|
|Chair||From $5 to $15||desk||From $25 to $150|
|Bedroom suite||From $250 to $1,000||Computer monitor||From $5 to $50|
|Dressers||From $20 to $100||Printer||From $5 to $150|
|Bed linen||From $2 to $8||Lamp||From $4 to $50|
|Blanket, cover||From $8 to $24||Vacuum cleaner||From $16 to $67|
|Blanket, blankets||From $2 to $15||Lawnmower||From $25 to $100|
|Bath towels||From $0.50 to $4||A bicycle||From $5 to $80|
|Air conditioner||From $20 to $90||Puzzles, board games||From $0.50 to $3|
|Heater||From $8 to $23||Soft toys||From 0.50 to 1 dollar|
|Electric stove||From $78 to $156||Skates||From $3 to $15|
|Gas stove||From $52 to $130||Roller blades||From $3 to $15|
|Microwave||From $10 to $50||Tennis racket||$3 to $5|
|Refrigerator||From $78 to $259||Golf clubs||From $3 to $25|
Again, these are estimates and recommendations only. Use your common sense to set a realistic FMV for your donated items.
If you grossly overstated the value of an item, meaning your collective charitable donation claim is quite large, you’ll likely get a response from the IRS. The agency’s experts work long enough to detect inflated donation amounts.
A few final notes on philanthropy taxes: Donations of clothing and household items are subject to the same general tax laws and IRS rules charitable gifts.
One key rule is that the items you donate (goods and/or cash) must go to a qualified charity in order to be tax deductible.
To make sure your chosen nonprofit is one of them, check out the IRS Tax Exempt Organization an online search tool. However, as we recently learned, the IRS has approved some fake charitiesyou can also do an additional check.
Several nonprofit watchdog groups also scrutinize the legitimacy of nonprofit organizations. Reputable charity checkers include Sincere (joined by GuideStar and Foundation Center), Charity navigator, Better Business Bureau Wise Giving Allianceand Charity watch.
Also, keep accurate records of your donations. When it comes to clothing and household items, you don’t have to send the donation information with your tax return. But if the IRS asks about any of your gifts, your complete and accurate records can help you prove that your donations and related deductions are legitimate.
Receipts from charities go a long way in confirming your donations. again, receipts does not need to be submitted with the tax return. They are for your use only in case your gifts are in doubt. And as noted earlier in this post, if a charity refuses to provide or send you a receipt by post or email, this is a sign that it may be illegal.
I know this is very important to consider when you want to claim your donations as a charitable deduction. But following the rules of giving makes the process much smoother and helps ensure that you get the maximum tax benefit from your gifts.
And even if you don’t count your donations, giving useful gifts to your favorite reputable charities is a great way to feel good!
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