Make charitable donations by the end of the year

December 28, 2009 3:09:55 PM PST
You probably haven't recovered from the holidays, and you probably don't want to think about taxes. But there are simple things you can do now to help save when the IRS come calling.

One of the easiest ways to get a tax deduction is to clean out your closets, basement and attic and donate unwanted items to a charity thrift shop.

At several Goodwill locations in our area, they've added computer kiosks to make it easy to get a receipt for the I-R-S.

"We wanted to make it a more convenient, quicker transaction for our donors" explains Goodwill of Southern Jersey and Philadelphia's Chief Operating Officer Michael Shaw.

"This way you come in, the attendant can spend time helping you unload your donation, and while he's doing that you, you can go over and fill out what you gave to us. You get a slip that says exactly what you put in, furniture, clothing, whatever you happend to bring in that day."

Items you donate should be of a quality that you'd want to give to a friend -- not what you should really throw out.

To determine how much your donations are worth, consider the price they would sell for at a thrift shop, not what you originally paid for them.

As a general rule of thumb, if the value of your donation is less than $250, you don't need to itemize the list. More than that, you should keep an itemized list. Click here for a link to the IRS guidelines to charitable donations.

By donating to charity thrift shop, not only will you be saving on your taxes, you'll be helping that organization's mission as well.

For more information about Goodwill, click here.

And for a guide to local charities that Channel Six works with, click here.


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