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Donations-Where To

 “After my mother died, I did want to get rid of some of her things that were still in the boxes and not damaged. I knew it was of some value, but there was just so much that I didn’t have the time to deal with it. I loaded it all up in a pickup truck load, and took it to an ’I Sold It on Ebay’ store.

“They take the photos, post it, mail it off, etc. I didn’t have to do anything but drop it off, and wait for a check to come in the mail later. I can’t remember how much of a cut they took. Sure, you might make more money if you sold it yourself – but boy did they save me weeks of time, not to mention emotional turmoil. And in fact, my local ’I Sold It’ store was run by a charity supporting disabled vets, so their profits went to a good cause. I was SO grateful for their service!

 “Keep in mind that there are also building materials thrift stores that can give you a tax deduction for donating any tools or hardware (my mother had quite a hoard of new doors, windows, and tools that she bought when Hechingers Home Improvement Stores went out of business in the 1990s). These building materials thrift stores are often run by charities such as Habitat for Humanity (you can find them on www.buildingreuse.org and http://www.habitat.org).

 “And as I’m sure you know, regular thrift stores like Salvation Army would be happy to have the housewares, kitchen items, and home decor.”

(National) Places That Pick Up Goods…

Freecycle.org (you post, you put it out by the curb, and others come and haul if they want it.)

Craigslist.org—post items yourself on this massive bulletin board

A company that will come haul stuff away (for a price of course!) is 1-800-GOT-JUNK. 

Know what you can deduct…

  • You can only deduct the fair market value for an item.
  • The fair market value takes into account an item’s condition and age.
  • IRS publication 526 will help you determine your values.
  • You need a written appraisal for donations of $5000 or more.
  • You may deduct mileage for dropping off donations.
  • Contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 when in doubt.

Tax Issues…

  • Your donation must be to a qualified organization to be deductible.
  • A “tax-exempt” organization doesn’t mean “tax-deductible” donation.
  • Check IRS publication 78 to see if the organization is qualified.
  • Churches and governments are automatically qualified.
  • Get a receipt for every donation.
  • You must itemize your deductions on your tax return.
  • To itemize, your deductions must be more than the standard deduction.

 

 Other/Misc…

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