Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Cleaning out closets for year end giving?

One of the most common questions I am asked on the topic of charitable giving relates to valuing the household items & clothing donated to worthy organizations  such as Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity, Goodwill, etc. It is the donor’s responsibility to obtain or determine the value of the donation per IRS rules.  For donations of used clothing & household items, there are many organizations that provide online valuation guides. Here are just a few of the links used by the folks I know:

1.  The Salvation Army:  http://salvationarmysouth.org/valueguide.htm/ 

2.  Bank Rate:  http://www.bankrate.com/finance/money-guides/tax-valuation-guide-for-donated-goods.aspx 

3.  Goodwill Industries:  http://www.goodwill.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/Donation_Valuation_Guide.pdf 

There are many other options on the web.  I suggest choosing a guide that is clear and easy for you to follow and use.  



Planning for year end charitable giving

A small amount of planning can help insure that your year end gifts are credited to you in 2013.  Here are a few simple tips:

1. Be sure to mail year end donations in plenty of time to be received by the charity. Cash donations are typically counted as given in the year the money is received. You might want to check that smaller organizations are open  the last week of the year to be sure there is no doubt.

2. If the charity is local, consider dropping off your check.  Ask for a receipt to be sure the gift is noted as 2013 & you will also have proof if ever audited.  

3. Another option is to make a donation through the charity’s website, if available, and print the receipt right away to insure the date of your gift is 2013.

Cleaning out your closets for charity? See our next tip for valuing your donations.


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