Duluth/Gwinnett CPA: Maximizing Your Personal Itemized Deductions. As an Atlanta CPA for decades I have learned that most overpayment of tax obligations occur when a tax payers is unaware of all of the legal tax deductions they can claim when filing their personal income tax return. The below is a sample letter we might send a client looking to keep their tax bill as low as legally possible. A Good Tax Return. Great! A Good CPA. Priceless!
For your personal return I do not yet have a copy of where you paid the cash contributions to charity. I have attached a draft copy of the return for your review. At present I have listed the property donations to Charity as you originally listed and have not yet listed the monies as your have described The Valuation Guide for Goodwill Donors as listed on Goodwill Industries on their web site at http://www.goodwill.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/Donation_Valuation_Guide.pdf
-Valuation. This is perhaps the most misunderstood portion of the law surrounding claiming a deduction for Non-cash/property contributions to charities. If you donate general household items such as clothing, books, appliances, furniture etc. they are required by IRS Rules & Regulations to be valued at what they are presently worth. For example, if you bought a bedroom suit, for which you might have paid many thousands of dollars, its fair market value, if you were to re-sell it would be only a fraction of the original purchase price. Valuations of household items and furnishings, when donated to a charity should be listed at what you would be able to sale an item for at a flea market or at a thrift store. The property contribution claimed on your income tax return should not be the list price at a flea market/thrift store but what you believe the item would actually sell for, which is the best indication of value. This is when a willing buyer and a willing seller agree to a mutually agreed on price; thus fair market value. All individual items over $500 donated are required to have an appraisal to substantiate the deduction. The Valuation Guide for Goodwill Donors as listed on Goodwill Industries on their web site at http://www.goodwill.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/Donation_Valuation_Guide.pdf