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Merlo, Accountant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 9783
Experience:  25+ years tax consulting. Specializing in returns for US citizens living abroad
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I earn 48,000 dollars a year. I am currently donating my suits

Resolved Question:

I earn 48,000 dollars a year. I am currently donating my suits and other clothing items
to Goodwill Charities.They give me receipts for my donations which I fill out.This year
I will donate inexcess of 20,000.00 dollars(original retail value).I do not have any of the
original receipts. May I deduct this from my upcoming taxes , if so how much will
this save me.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Merlo replied 7 years ago.

Hello JA Customer,


For contributions of property made to an organization such as Goodwill, your contributions cannot be more than 50% of your adjusted gross income. So if your adjusted gross income for the year is $48,000, you could deduct up to a total of $24,000 in qualified contributions. If you were able to claim a deduction for $20,000 and you file your taxes as a single person, this would save you roughly 18% on your taxes, or a total of around $3,600.


The problem that I see is that you cannot claim the original cost of the clothing as the amount of your deduction. Here is what the IRS rules state regarding the donations of used clothing:


Used clothing. The fair market value of used clothing and other personal items is usually far less than the price you paid for them. There are no fixed formulas or methods for finding the value of items of clothing. You should claim as the value the price that buyers of used items actually pay in used clothing stores, such as consignment or thrift shops.


The actual value of the clothing you are donating can vary depending on its age and condition. Goodwill's website provides a list you can use which gives the average value of various used items. You might use this list or you might try pricing similar items at a thrift shop to see what they are selling for. You could actually go inside of a Goodwill store and perhaps find the items you donated on the sale rack, or similar items that are in similar condition, and that would give you a better idea of the actual value that you can claim as a deduction.


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Thank you JA Customer



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