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Donate Your Junk For a Tax Deductible Donation

Overview | General Questions | Tax Deductible Donations | 10 Ways to Recycle |

Give Your Possessions A 2nd Life

Oftentimes people move items only to regret it later when they come to the realization that they never use these items. Make the daunting task of packing up all your worldly possessions easier on yourself and try to give what you can to charity.

Several agencies pick up household items, books, collectibles, furniture and clothing. Donated items are either distributed to those in need or sold through thrift stores. The proceeds from these sales provide assistance to low income, homeless families and individuals.
Keep in mind the following:

  1. That the last 2 weeks of the month, everyone is trying to get furniture out of their apartments – so book a pickup 3 weeks in advance.
  2. Charities won’t take just any old furniture you have, it has to be in good condition.
  3. For tax purposes, follow these procedures: if your property is not worth more than $250, keep the receipt with the name of the charity, the date of the donation and a description of what was donated, including its value; if your donation exceeds $250 but is less than $500, get a written acknowledgement from the charity stating whether it gave you any goods or services in exchange for the items donated, and what the fair market value of the donation is; if your donation exceeds $500, keep the receipt, your itemized list, and an acknowledgement from the charity as described.

Below are 6 steps to guide you through:

Step 1
Check your yellow pages under “Associations,” “Health Service” or “Social and Human Service for Individuals and Families” to find local charitable organizations that may accept furniture donations. Also check under "Thrift Shops", as these places almost always accept such donations.
Step 2
Contact Goodwill (800-664-6577) or the Salvation Army (800-SAL-ARMY).
Step 3
Call your local high school’s drama department or a community theater to see if they can use your furniture for sets.
Step 4
Arrange for the pickup of the furniture. Most charities will send someone to pick up your furniture if you donate it, but be sure to ask about this, especially if delivering the furniture yourself isn’t an option.
Step 5
Get a receipt when the items are picked up by the charity. Once you get a receipt, itemize the items you gave to charity and list them with their fair market value. Attach this list to the receipt.
Step 6
Save your receipt and list for tax purposes.

Should your schedule conflict with those of your chosen charity please know that we recycle 70% of items we picked up on clean-outs.

 

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