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Thrift shop value

esquire.

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I don't have this problem but I'm just curious as to how much one can write off clothing donations? I know the IRS says you can write off the thrift shop value, but I'm not sure what this means.

I don't think EBay could be considered a thrift shop, and its pricing mechanism is entirely different. So, does that mean you can only write off only how much the thrift shop like Goodwill sells it for?
 

Carlo

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When donating it to charity you can write off fair market value.
 

marc237

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The Salvation Army receipts in NYC have a recommended range posted on the back for donations based on condition. It is clearly not intended to cover the donated Isaia or Attolini, but it can be used as a guide for much. You could also look up similar items on e-bay. The IRS is unlikely to give you a hard time so long as you have a reasonable basis for the assessment and can offer documentation.
 

kabert

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In my mind, the concept of "thrift shop value" for deduction purposes has be altered by the advent of EBay. As what marc and others have said, I think one should value at what it would sell for in a proper EBay auction or in a "smart" thrift shop or consignment shop. Thus, I would value an Attolini suit that I've worn a few times but that no longer fits somewhere between $500 and $1,000. Not at $25 because no one in the average thrift shop has a clue what Attolini is.
 

esquire.

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I know this is just an academic question, but if the IRS wanted people to write it off for the fair market value, why didn't they use that term instead of 'thrift market value'? To me, it seems to be implying two different things.

Kabert,
How did you derive that number for that Antollini suit?
 

NoVaguy

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I know this is just an academic question, but if the IRS wanted people to write it off for the fair market value, why didn't they use that term instead of 'thrift market value'? To me, it seems to be implying two different things.

Kabert,
How did you derive that number for that Antollini suit?
probably because years ago, before ebay, thrift shop value equaled fair market value....

it takes awhile for everything to get updated. they may not even bother.
 

kabert

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Kabert,
How did you derive that number for that Antollini suit?
Not based on what I've seen these sell for in a thrift store, that's for sure. Actually, it's really just a random/gut feeling range of amounts based on full retail (around $4,000 IIRC) and what they sell for at Filene's Basement (last year I saw one in size 42 priced at $1,400) and what they sell for on EBay (about the same; perhaps a little more).
 

faustian bargain

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well, all i can say is, good luck arguing your case with an IRS agent if and when you get audited.

it's a better idea to ask a tax accountant about these things. among other things, they should be able to tell you what kind of deduction figures start raising red flags. over a certain total for 'clothing donations', and questions might start being asked.

to my mind, 'thrift store value' means: ~$10/jacket, ~$20-25/suit, ~$7/shirt, ~$15/shoes, ~$8/sweater. you're going to have a hard time convincing a taxman (who is incidentally probably wearing 'men's wearhouse' or 'kuppenheimer') that your used suit is worth hundreds of dollars.

another point: if you want to sell it on ebay, do that. you'll get more money out of the deal than donating it and taking a deduction. it's apples and oranges to say, on the one hand, you're going to donate something to goodwill, and on the other hand, you are going to value it for taxes at an ebay price. ebay ain't the donation place. its value becomes whatever goodwill says it is.

/andrew
 

RJman

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Bear in mind former SF mayor Willie Brown who tried to write off $50,000 in one year as clothing donations. Scary thing is that that might have been the retail value of all those clothes.
 

4Mica

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The tax savings for a deduction is only the value of the donation times you tax rate.  For example say my Federal tax rate is 15% and state is 9%.  
$100 deduction equals Federal savings $15 and State savings of $9.

Why not sell the clothes on Ebay and then give all or some of the proceeds to the charity.  The cash you give the charity will most likely be more than the charity will get selling the clothes.  So you both make out  by selling on ebay.
That is good advise but the thrift store I donate to gainfully employees people with disablities. In that circumstance I feel I am doing the charity and those people more good by donating the actual items.
 

Fashionslave

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The long hand of the tax man wants to reach into Ebay as well.What has been a pleasant diversion for many is now being scrutnized by the IRS as taxable income.Furthermore,Congress is trying to pass a bill for next year which would only allow a cap of $500./yr for thrift store donations.Nice,huh?Seems the little guy can never win.
 

Fashionslave

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Yep,I'm sue the IRS will try like Hell to get Ebay to fork over Powerseller records.They feel they're not bleeding people enough,I'm sure.
 

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