Get The Most Out Of It

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  1. Calculate how much your donations are worth. This can be a bit difficult, but it’s something you can do. The first thing you need to determine is a “Fair Market Value” which is the price an item would sell for on EBay, Craigslist or a thrift store. There are some tools available on the internet that can assist you in the determination of fair market value such as the Goodwill Valuation Guide, Salvation Army Valuation Guide, It’s Deductible – a great tool on TurboTax which can help calculate your donation values.
  2. Write out an itemized list of the things you donated. Be as specific as you can. Taking pictures of your donations can be helpful and practical.
  1. Ensure that you are given a receipt after making your donation. A lot of the charities that do pick up usually leave a blank receipt that you would have to fill out. Put all the following items together and/or give them to your CPA or submit them along with your tax return information for the year;
  • List of items donated
  • Photos of items donated
  • The valuation information that your fair market value is based on
  • The tax deduction receipt you got from the charity
  1. Lastly, it is pertinent to remember the general rule which is that tax deductions on your donations are only applicable in the calendar year that you have physically made those donations. All donations that you make from the 1st of January of every year and all through the year will only be deductible in that year.