Come January, many people are ready for a fresh start. Especially after the holiday season, this often means clearing out the clutter to make room for the new: in other words, finally hauling those bags of old clothes sitting in the basement to the Salvation Army, Goodwill, or another charitable organization.
Once you’ve gathered up items you’d like to donate, Charity Navigator’s guide to donating Non-cash Items recommends finding a local charity in order to reduce transportation costs that could ultimately lower the value of your donation: “Look first in your local community to find a charity to support with your non-cash contribution. Call around and ask charities if the accept the kind of items you are looking to donate, and if they don’t, find out if they have any suggestions for a charity that does.”
It’s a good idea to itemize any deductions, both cash and non-cash. However, non-cash contributions require some additional steps in order to calculate the value of goods you’ve donated throughout the year. If the total value of the items you’ve donated is under $500, you simply enter that value on line 17 of the Schedule A form. If you donated more than $500 worth of items, however, you need to fill out the charitable contributions federal deduction tax form, the 8283 form with the title “Noncash Charitable Contributions.”