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A free way to value your donated goods

Consumer Reports News: February 21, 2008 09:08 AM

TurboTax's ItsDeductible software is now available free online. This is a great resource if you've donated household goods, clothing and other items and don't know how much they're worth for the purposes of a deduction. ItsDeductible uses market valuations of used goods sold via eBay, which is more likely to be accepted by the IRS than your own guesses. I was able to print out a summary of the donations to each charitable organization but not an item-by-item tally. (You'll probably have to buy TurboTax if you want that level of detail.) Instead, I already had every donated good itemized on paper. I hope the IRS deems that sufficient.

I found ItsDeductible a far more comprehensive and specific source than Goodwill Industries' valuation guide, which is merely a three-page download with value ranges. (If you want to check it out, click on and download "Valuation Guide for Material Donations" on the right side of the above link.)

Don't forget: The IRS says donated items must be in at least good condition to be claimed as deductions. For more information, check out Publication 526, Charitable Contributions, at www.irs.gov.

--Tobie Stanger

   

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