Sunday, December 27, 2009

Charitible Contributions



With the end of 2009 fast approaching, now is the time to start getting your tax documents in order. I like to do some year end cleaning and get everything I don't need to Goodwill. This way I'm not as likely to lose my receipts.

The program that I like to use to keep track of my donations is http://www.itsdeductible.com/. This website is done by the makers of Turbo Tax. If you use Turbo Tax, you can even have it import the information straight into the program. Even if you don't use Turbo Tax, it's still a very valuable program.

Most people have a hard time valuing the items that we are donating. Since they are no longer of any use to us, it's tough to imagine that they are worth anything. Most people end up using a garage sale value. The price you would stick to it if you were having a garage sale. Nope. That is waaaaaaaaay low. It's Deductible will let you search for an item, and it has the accepted IRS value automatically assigned to it.

For example, I bundled up all of my magazines. Most of them are even still in the wrapper because I just didn't have time to read them. If I took them to the half price book store to sell them, I would be lucky to get a penny a piece. It's Deductible tells me that if I donate them, the value is 50 cents a piece for new condition, and 25 cents a piece for decent condition. With 120 magazines, that amounts to quite a bit! And it's paper that won't be sitting in the landfill, or even needing to go through the recycling process yet. Clothing has much higher values than you would expect too.

Sign up at http://www.itsdeductible.com/ and start entering your information. It's a free account, and you can track monetary donations too. It's a quick and easy way to keep track of things, and you'll be very happy when you sit down to prepare your taxes because this will be a piece that is already done!