Rules for Non-Cash Charitable Contributions
Effective with the Pension and Protection Act passed by Congress this last summer, all non-cash donations after August 17, 2006 are only allowed to be deducted if in "good, used or better" condition for household or clothing items. There has been no definition offered for "good, used or better" by the IRS so this is open to your interpretation. My advice would be that if you are making some significant donations that you list in detail the items and possibly even take pictures. I think the more evidence you have to back up your charitable deduction, the less likely that this would be disqualified if you were to be audited on this issue. As always, you need to retain a receipt from the charitable organization noting their name, address, and the date of the contribution. You as the donor are to estimate the approximate value. Please be careful if you are donating anything in excess of $5,000 at one time as there are some specific rules for items with a value exceeding $5,000. As always, if you are making this type of donation, you may call me and ask questions and I can give you specific answers so that you can get the most tax deductible benefit of your contribution!