Currently, taxpayers have to choose between the standard deduction or their itemized deductions, whichever figure is greater, to get a tax break for donating to charity. At the end of the year though, this could be changing to only the standard deduction.
That means now is the time to get that stuff in the basement, garage, storage shed out and get it donated, and maximize your deduction!
Things to remember when you donate...
Because you need a record for this type of donation, always right a check or use a credit card. Easy!
According to IRS publication 561 - the long and the short of it is that the value of the items you bag and drop off are the prices they will put on the items when sold next week. Not your value.
They usually have a guide at any location as to pricing on items, and you can put it with your tax records along with the receipt that says, “1 Bag of Clothes.” But even if you have that guide, this isn't really enough information because it doesn't get specific about what was in the bag of clothes. There's an easy solution - take 30 seconds, spread everything out on your bed or table, snap a quick picture with your cell phone, then bag it up and drop it off. You can print out your picture and put it with the receipt. Not too bad, right?
You have until the ball drops at midnight, so take a little time this holiday season and get it done!