America’s ‘Shop Cop’, popular author (“Furniture Hot Spots” and “Best Furniture Buying Tips Ever!”) and frequent TV contributor Jennifer Litwin recommends donating gently used furniture to save money on income taxes. The following ideas can be applied to tax returns:
WRITING OFF FURNITURE DONATIONS
If, in the past year, in the process of moving, clearing out the clutter or trading up, you donated any furniture to a charity organization, you are entitled to write off the value of the furniture. Always make sure you have a copy of the receipt and when declaring it.
Some regional furniture stores are rewarding donors by offering a discount of up to 10% on new purchases if you donate your old furniture to the “Furniture Bank”, a national depository that takes furniture from anyone in over 30 cities and gives it to those in need. The Furniture Bank will pick up the goods and remove them at no charge. You assign your own value to the goods based on age of piece, wear and tear and demand. This is a win-win, because you are saving money on taxes and on your new furniture purchases. The Furniture Bank works with organizations like The American Red Cross, United Way and U.S. Department of Social Services.
For more information on the Furniture Bank:
OTHER WAYS TO DONATE FURNITURE
- Charity of your choice: this is especially nice if you are passionate about a particular organization, like a hospital, a church, a social welfare group, etc., but you may still have to pay for shipping your goods there.
- Consignment: This is better in cases where your goods are more valuable; here the money often goes to a charity, but not necessarily. You are usually responsible for delivery, but then you receive around 50% for the selling price. You can deduct the difference between what the good sells for and what you get. Keep receipts.