One of the things that I love most about Buffalo is the generosity of my neighbors. Although the WNY area is considered to have one of the lowest incomes in the nation, the people of Buffalo and its environs are on the top of the list when it comes to generosity.
I would like to help you get some credit for the donations that you often make without thinking of your own benefit. How often do you give gifts of used clothing, furniture small appliances and toys to the Goodwill, Salvation Army, Veterans and other such worthy organizations to help make life easier for those who don’t have enough? In order to take full advantage of the tax code to get a tax break for yourself, you must itemize on your tax return (file schedule A) and you must ITEMIZE your donations. Here are two links to valuation guides to help you put a value on each item that you give away.
Before you throw that bag into the donation bin, take it to your church, or leave it on the front porch for pick up, take a few minutes to write down what you are giving away and use these guides to assign a fair value to each. Attach this to your receipt from the organization and save it in your “current tax year” file. Next tax season you will be amazed at how generous you have been and what a difference it will make on your tax return.