This year, 2017 tax year, may be the last year you itemize. The standard deduction amount has gone up and the things you can deduct as itemized deductions are going down. For more people, it will mean that the standard deduction is bigger than their itemized deductions in total will be.
What does that have to do with charitable donations? Well, this may be the last year you claim your charitable donations. So, make it count!
It’s pretty easy to track cash donations, but when it comes to donating actual physical items like household goods, clothing, toys and the like, how do you value them?
You will need to disclose the amount you paid for the item originally, the date you bought them, the date you donated and what the fair market was at that time. For most people, that last item is the most important. The fair market value will be the amount you can deduct. But how can you find that amount?
The Salvation Army prints a handy valuation guide at: https://satruck.org/Home/DonationValueGuide.
Of course, you also need to keep the receipts showing that you actually did donate the goods, and when.