TAXING TIMES

We often drop off old clothes and stuff at the Salvation Army and don’t wait for a tax receipt. Apparently, that’s common. So now there’s a new website called CharityDeductions that figures out the tax receipts for you.

Unlike other sites that use data from Salvation Army and Goodwill, this site uses data from eBay to figure out what your stuff is worth and then shoots out an itemized report. (If you threw in a Rembrandt etching without noticing it, they can’t account for that.)

The large eBay database makes it possible to get a deduction for that giant stuffed penguin you finally got rid of, and the other odd ducks in your closet. We gave a guitar and a cellphone to charity recently and our two items were valued at $206, which gave us $52 in tax savings in the 25 percent tax bracket. The deductions report looks very official and includes the name of the right IRS form. It can be sent to an accountant or used with your own tax software.

The website is free to use until you’ve listed more than $500 in donations. If you go that far, it’s $25 a for a year’s membership. A $500 donation can easily generate more than $100 in tax savings, so the price seems reasonable. Maybe it’s even deductible; after all, it’s a tax preparation expense. There’s an iPhone app called “DonationApp” and an Android version is in progress.

Comments are closed.