Examples of appropriate ways to value item donations:

  1. You donated a pair of men's blue jeans that are in style and in excellent condition. ItsDeductible valued them at $10. However, just six months ago, you paid only $7 for these blue jeans because you bought them on sale. The most you can deduct is $7.

  2. You have a Toastmaster coffee maker that's only six months old, but it is out of style and has significant defects. You should select the "low" value category. Because of recent tax law changes, items in this category are not deductible. Learn more

  3. You find a designer-label leather purse of high value at a garage sale and you buy it for only $20. Fifteen months later, you donate this purse to a charity. Since you only used it a few times, it still looks the same as the day you bought it at the garage sale. You can value this item as "high" in ItsDeductible.

Examples of Improper Valuing

  1. You donate a woman's coat of high value that you originally bought for $55. In ItsDeductible, you describe it as a women's designer coat, which has a value of $165. If this coat is not a designer coat and you only paid $55 for it to begin with, it is your responsibility to assign the proper description and value.

  2. You donate a belt sander that you've only had a few months, but it is broken. Since the sander is broken, you must describe it as "poor" quality even though it is practically new. Broken items that cannot easily be fixed will usually have little or no value. Because of recent tax law changes, items in this category are not deductible. Learn more

  3. You buy a man's suit at a garage sale for $5. One month later, you donate that suit to your local Salvation Army. The suit is in style and made of high quality material, so you select the "high" value in ItsDeductible. Since you have owned this property for less than one year, you are responsible to make sure you deduct only what you paid for it, instead of using the fair market value listed in ItsDeductible which may be higher.
IRS Publication 526 IRS Publication 561