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  • Question on donation of bags of clothes

    Last year we cleaned house and donated a bunch of clothing and toys. The charity we use generates the tax receipt which you then download and on your honor fill in the values for clothes, toys, etc. When I've donated bigger items I make a point to list it specifically and get the ebay value,etc. However, it's rather onerous to catalog every toy and piece of clothing in a bag. I usually estimate based on what in the bags and put 50-100 bucks per bag. Is this totally unreasonable.

  • #2
    Seems fine to me. Whenever I donate, they ask if I want a receipt, and I assume they would ask me what the value of stuff is, but I don’t get a receipt since I don’t itemize (yet).

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    • #3
      Yea. I used to catalog what I donated, then I was like “you know what, if the IRS wants to call me on a couple hundred bucks that I have a receipt for, let me come.”

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      • #4
        I don’t even mess with them. I find it easier rather than placing arbitrary numbers on small things we donate throughout the year.

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        • #5
          If the total of in noncash valuations is <$500 you don’t need to file a form 8283 to breakout the valuations, but as a practical matter you do still need to figure it out. The $/bag method is OK I guess as long as you are under the threshold. But none of this is hard. Salvation Army, TurboTax and many others have a valuation guide. Just count up the categories. 12 pair of men’s slacks at $2.50 a pop, or whatever.

          Here is an easy way to do it. Go to this website. It allows you to enter items and update the number of each. Uses Salvation Army valuations, I think. Prints out an 8283 for you. https://www.8283ez.com

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Larry Ragman View Post
            If the total of in noncash valuations is <$500 you don’t need to file a form 8283 to breakout the valuations, but as a practical matter you do still need to figure it out. The $/bag method is OK I guess as long as you are under the threshold. But none of this is hard. Salvation Army, TurboTax and many others have a valuation guide. Just count up the categories. 12 pair of men’s slacks at $2.50 a pop, or whatever.

            Here is an easy way to do it. Go to this website. It allows you to enter items and update the number of each. Uses Salvation Army valuations, I think. Prints out an 8283 for you. https://www.8283ez.com
            yeah i think that's the biggest thing -- not to overvalue things.

            your old dress shirt is worth about a dollar no matter how snazzy you think it is.

            honestly for someone making doctor money trying to itemize donations of clothing is probably not even worth the time IMHO. an absolute winnowing of your closet is probably worth $100.

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            • #7
              Old school:
              Wife writes a notepad inventory of what is being donated. 25 dress shirts, 10 shorts , 1 toaster etc.
              Now, I try to be fair. I don’t want to use $10 an item on everything. $2, $5, or $10? Each is different.
              50+50+10= 110 Bingo! I might even write a price on each line. My theory is if the IRS has a bone to pick, that receipt and note pad are my proof.
              That was a mighty fine toaster! If a $10 toaster is the only question, battle of deductions is won! Victory is mine!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Tim View Post
                Old school:
                Wife writes a notepad inventory of what is being donated. 25 dress shirts, 10 shorts , 1 toaster etc.
                Now, I try to be fair. I don’t want to use $10 an item on everything. $2, $5, or $10? Each is different.
                50+50+10= 110 Bingo! I might even write a price on each line. My theory is if the IRS has a bone to pick, that receipt and note pad are my proof.
                That was a mighty fine toaster! If a $10 toaster is the only question, battle of deductions is won! Victory is mine!
                More or less our method too. My wife does the donations and jots down basic categories and number of each (e.g., men’s slacks, ladies blouse). We keep that list attached to the receipt. I run it all through the tool I linked above because it does the valuations, but that can be done in TT or other places too.

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                • #9
                  Remember that your SALT + charitables + mortgage interest > your standard deductions.

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                  • #10
                    And don't forget the $300 for cash donations even if you don't itemize.

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                    • #12
                      this year im actually using an excel spreadsheet because I will be donating all my wifes stuff. Other years never bothered, jsut a random "100" or whatever my accountant figured would be reasonable. Havent itemized in a few years though

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                      • #13
                        TT has It’s Deductible, which we’ve used for years. Pretty nice program if you’ve got a lot to give away. When you’re moving and cleaning out, it often (for most clients) adds up to several thousand dollars. I believe you use the same login as you do for TT, at least, I just checked my QBO login and it worked.
                        Our passion is protecting clients and others from predatory and ignorant advisors. Fox & Co CPAs, Fox & Co Wealth Mgmt. 270-247-6087

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                        • #14
                          Originally posted by MPMD View Post
                          yeah i think that's the biggest thing -- not to overvalue things.

                          your old dress shirt is worth about a dollar no matter how snazzy you think it is.
                          But it's velour. It's very snazzy!

                          Do you know how many naugas had to die to make this full length coat?

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                          • #15
                            I've used it's deductible in the past. Works well. Certainly defendable in an audit.
                            Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

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