Finance Quick Answers
Do non-cash donations make a difference for my taxes?
Charities receive a burst of donations as people do
fall cleaning and look to the last few months of the tax
year. Assuming you itemize deductions, your check is
tax-deductible as long as it is in the mail by December
Don’t forget that, for tax purposes, non-cash
donations are just as valuable as cash. Find some time
to gather old clothes, kitchen gadgets, sports equipment
and other closet clutter that someone else could use and
you could rack up some surprisingly large deductions.
Come up with $600 worth of used items to give to your
favorite charity for instance, and you can cut your tax
bill by just over $200 if your combined federal and
state tax rate is 34%.
Cash or non-cash, you need a receipt to deduct any
donation. Receipts for non-cash donations such as used
clothing need to be signed by the recipient. It’s up to
you to keep an itemized list with an estimated value for
Source: Kiplingers, Dec. 96, p. 56.
Sandra McKinnon, Consumer & Family Economics Specialist, University of Missouri Extension
Cynthia E. Crawford, Ph.D., Consumer & Family Economics Specialist, University of Missouri Extension
Last update: Monday, November 17, 2008