IRS Donation Guidelines

How to itemize donated items.

If you itemize deductions on your federal tax return, you may be entitled to claim a charitable deduction for your Goodwill donations.

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), a taxpayer can deduct the fair market value of clothing, household goods, used furniture, shoes, books and so forth. Fair market value is the price a willing buyer would pay for them. Value usually depends on the condition of the item. By law, a charity cannot tell you what your donated items are worth. This is something you must do yourself. To assess “fair market value” for your donations:

  • Consult a local tax advisor who should be familiar with market values in your region.
  • Review the following tax guides available from the IRS.
  • Determining the Value of Donated Property defines “fair market value” and helps donors and appraisers determine the value of property given to qualified organizations. It also explains what kind of information you must have to support the charitable contribution deduction you claim on your return. To help you determine your donations fair market value Goodwill is happy to provide a Value Guide that offers average prices in our stores for items in good condition.

    If a donor is claiming over $5,000 in contribution value, there is a section labeled “Donate Acknowledgement” in Section B, Part IV of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 8283 that must be completed. The form and instructions are available on the IRS site and can be accessed through this link, IRS Tax Forms.

    Goodwill will be happy to provide a receipt as substantiation for your contributions in good used condition, only on the date of the donation. You may request a donation receipt with dropping off donations at one of our attended donation centers.