Donating and Taxes

I’ve already donated a car this year, it sold at auction for $3,000 (which, BTW was less than the estimated repair cost for it to run again – which is why we donated it).  I’ve been working on de-cluttering the house.  I got rid of a bunch of books (4 IKEA full-size bookcases worth actually) earlier this year, and now I’m going through my guest room closet getting rid of all the clothes “I might fit into someday” – from about 10 years ago.  They’re not out of (my) style, they just don’t fit or I haven’t worn them in the last two years – so they’re going.

Last month, I went through and donated all of my maternity clothes, and all of Daughter Person’s clothes that didn’t sell at yard sale.  That was still about 5 trash bags worth of clothes.

This month, I’ve been attacking the guest room closet.  I put *all* of my clothes down there last summer – and brought clothes up to my closet as I wore them.  So, if one year later, they’re still in the guest room closet – I’m obviously not wearing them.  There are a few exceptions – dressy clothes, which I hate to wear, but I do occasionally need.  So as long as they still fit, I’m keeping them – really those are the ones that I wish I could get rid of the most, but most people frown on wearing jeans to a wedding or other “dressy” occasion :(.

I’ve run into a bit of a “problem” though, and I don’t know what I want to do about it.  There’s a $5,000 “threshold” on total like donations throughout the year – I say “threshold”, since you can donate more than $5,000, but you have to have extra documentation and appraisals.  I’m using Its Deductible to come up with the fair market value for things, and I’ve reached $1,981 on the estimated value.  That plus the car at $3,000 puts me really close to the $5,000 threshold (I think – I need to call my accountant).  And I haven’t finished going through the closet yet.

So, do I donate more than the $2,000 and deal with the IRS requirements, or just leave those things in boxes until next year?  I can still make donations in money since that’s a different kind of donation (and the car might be a different kind too, checking on that), but I really don’t want to deal with all of the IRS red tape of > $5,000 donations.  Although, I’d rather deal with the IRS than freecycle/craigslist/etc, so maybe it’s just time to suck it up and fill out more paperwork.

3 thoughts on “Donating and Taxes

  1. I know it sounds like a hassle but I say you get all those receipts and appraisals. Unless you have super super high income all those donations are probably going to be worth putting on there. Since you have plenty of time ’til the end of the year why not start now? That way at tax time you won’t be talking about how this particular thing is so crazy making:) Your accountant will probably be SO happy you are so organized!

    • I’ve only got the small problem of not having any I the cost basis documentation because some of these clothes are so old, I barely remember when I got them. And I’ve already donated all of Daughter Person’s clothes and aside from the It’s Deductible list, don’t have any idea of what I spent or donated. I could look at old CC statements from all the stuff I bought her, but most of it was gifts or bought at containment for cash. I need to check with my accountant on what options I have.

      • My information shows no basis information is required if property was held for at least 12 months. However sounds like you have other issues. For those other non-cash items seems like you will have to have acknowledgement from the charities. Your accountant probably knows you best, but from now on keep all that stuff squirreled away for tax time. One of my clients had TONS of stuff to donate. Even though we have to e-file I made sure he gave me a list of all the charities, since the IRS can audit us any time.

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