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Like many taxpayers, you may have recently (or routinely) donated a few bags of clothing and household items to a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.donation box stock.jpg The $125 designer jeans, a box of barely-used stuffed animals, and eclectic wall art were sought-after purchases that found their way to your home through your hard-earned dollars. Certainly, your goods were priceless treasures to you and you presumed the same for the lucky charity to which you would donate them. 

Come donation day, you eagerly greeted the worker at the donation center, cheerfully handed over your goods and, in return, received a blank receipt to use as tax documentation for your charitable donation. A quick final glance at your almost-departed “stuff” provided you with a mental assessment of the value of your donation. You hurriedly scribble $1,000 on the line indicating “value.” 

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Who’s to disagree? It is a matter of practice that the fair market value of your noncash donation is not provided when the organization issues your donation receipt.  Come tax time, this can make completing Form 8283 (Noncash Charitable Contributions) confusing and open to interpretation. 

What can you do? Having a reliable basis for determining the fair market value of your clothing and household items will help you accurately plan and document your charitable giving.

Download our easy-to-read “2016 Noncash Charitable Contribution Fair Market Value Guide.” You will find value ranges for a pretty comprehensive listing, from artwork to vests. Be aware that the values provided in this guide are meant to represent average values.  Some of the items you have donated may be high-end brand name items that may have a higher fair market value than the one shown in the guide.  Conversely, you also need to consider the possibility that your donated goods may fall into the lower end of the range, too.  Moreover, do not forget that the goods you donate must be in good used condition to result in any deduction, at all.

If you have questions about the contents of this guide or if you have made or are considering making donations of real property, vehicles, boats, or intellectual works, contact me at or any of our professionals at 216.831.0733. We’re happy to help and ready to start the conversation.