Monday, September 28, 2009

How To Cash In On Your Old Stuff

As the year draws down to a close, don’t forget about what you might be able to cash in on that’s sitting around your closet.  While you may think that you don’t have enough to get a tax deduction (if you don’t normally itemize your deductions on your taxes), you may be surprised how much your old possessions may be worth to Uncle Sam.  There are several “gauges” for valuing clothes donations, but I use the GoodWill’s estimating table to value my donations.  They are reputable and pretty conservative, so you won't get in trouble for overdoing it with their figures.

Here is a helpful link to GoodWill's Donation Guidelines, with some additional resource links for the IRS, too.  If you use Microsoft Excel, or even Google docs, (which has free spreadsheet, word processing and other tools) you can copy and paste the text into your spreadsheet program and make it more interactive.  This will come in handy at tax time for both cataloging and entering these donation items.  Tax software does usually come with similar tools, but this can help you any time of the year.

From the IRS guidelines, make sure your clothes are in good repair, and it’s essential that you take pictures of your clothes before they are donated to keep you honest and Uncle Sam off your back should a question arise in the future.