Thursday, January 7, 2010

This post was too good not to share, do you donate to Goodwill? Salv Army? then you need this

sted: 06 Jan 2010 09:01 PM PST
I think many of us have the “urge to purge” come January. The arrival of the New Year leaves us wanting a fresh start. What better way than to clean the excess out of all those closets, cupboards, basements and attics?
However, be SURE and track your donations. I was shocked at how quickly the savings added up , once I started. I use the Turbo Tax program, ItsDeductible Online! Believe it or not, it’s totally free to use and each donation can be printed out and saved for use with your taxes (or imported to TurboTax, if you use it). There is no sense in paying for software to do what ItsDeductible Online does for free!
This program is great because you find the item you have to donate and the program shows you the allowable deduction.  For instance, if I donated a women’s sundress, I can choose either high quality for a $9 deduction or medium quality for a $6 deduction (no credit for low quality items). These prices are acceptable to the IRS and more than I would have priced them at. You also get a nice, itemized list to print out for each deduction.
Another neat feature, is that the program estimates how much each donation saves you in taxes. For instance, my last donation for 2009 was valued at $393.50. It consisted mainly of books, videos and clothing. Estimated tax savings for this donation is $59.33. Well worth the time it took me to log the items as I bagged and boxed them up and possibly more than I would have received for them had I held a yard sale.
If you’re not interested in  using a computer program, you can check out these resources. has valuation worksheets. Oddly, they only have “high” and “low” values, with no “medium” valuation. Still, it should give you a good idea. Salvation Army provides their valuation listing HERE.
It really is worth taking the time to record your donations. I cut $119 off my 2009 tax bill simply by recording two large donations that I made. Now you have triple the motivation for purging; you can help others, de-clutter AND save money, all at the same time!

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