How To Value A Charitable Donation

Need to know how to value a charitable donation? You can take advantage of a legitimate charitable donation tax deduction if you are careful to value your donations accurately and file the appropriate forms at tax time. The IRS is always on the watch for people who inflate the value of their acts of charity, so make sure you follow the guidelines exactly. You want to make the most of your donations without getting mixed up in a tax audit.

How To Document Cash Donations
You will need to document all cash donations that you wish to claim as deductions. This means you can't say you donated $20 to the Salvation Army over the holiday season without a receipt showing this is so. You will need a receipt, canceled check, credit card statement or a bank record showing you made the donation. Receipts must have the date, the charitable organization's name, a written acknowledgment of the donation and a signature. If your donation is over $250, you must also have a written blurb from the organization saying you did not receive goods or services in exchange for your monetary donation.

How To Value A Charitable Auto Donation
When donating a car and claiming a value of over $500, you will have to have documentation that the charitable organization accepted your donation and received the specific monetary value of your claim when the organization resold the vehicle. If the charitable organization keeps the donated vehicle, the organization must sign off on the blue book-fair market value-amount the vehicle is valued at. This prevents donators from over-valuing their auto donations.

How To Value Clothing And Household Item Donations
When valuing household items and used clothing, donate only items that are in good condition or better. Use the chart at to assess monetary donation value, and then make a detailed record of every item donated. Get a signed receipt from the charitable organization backing up your donation record.

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