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Charitable Contributions

Charitable Contributions

Non-Cash Donations

Donating items that you no longer use is a great way to help others in need.  Those non-cash donations can also add to your itemized deductions if you document them correctly.

Non-cash contributions must meet certain requirements in order for them to be deducted on your tax return.

  1. You must itemize your deductions on Schedule A of your 1040 tax return.
  2. Your donation must be given to a qualified non-profit organization.
  3. You must obtain a receipt from the organization when you donate your goods for all donations of worth $250 or more.
  4. If your non-cash donations exceed $500 for the year, an additional form must be filed to document the contributions.
  5. You must be able to value your donation using fair market value (in many cases, Thrift Shop Value).
  6. Any consideration received in exchange for your donation must be deducted from the fair market value.
  7. Any donation of an item or group of similar items with a value greater than $5,000 requires an appraisal made by a qualified appraiser. 

Click Here to download our Goodwill spreadsheet.  It will help you value the items you have donated to thrift shops throughout the year.

Cash Donations

Charitable contributions in the form of cash also directly affect your itemized deductions.  There are also requirements regarding the deductibility of the contributions.

  1. You must have the receipt prior to filing your tax return
  2. You must have a receipt for ALL cash donations
  3. You must have a canceled check or proof of payment
  4. You must have a receipt for each donation of $250 or more to an organization.  A year-end summary from a church listing all the donations for the year meets the requirement.
  5. If several smaller donations are made, we recommend getting a receipt for each donation or a year-end statement listing the donations.
  6. The statement must state, "No goods or services were received in exchange for these donations," or something similar.

Please download our expanded guide on deducting charitable donations for more in-depth explanation.

Charitable Contribution Guide

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