Friday, April 11, 2014

Keeping Track of Donations - Is it worth it?

About this time last year, I wrote a post about keeping track of your donations.  You can go back and read it HERE.  

I talked about how I like to keep track of the bags and boxes full of stuff that I donate so I can deduct them from my taxes.  You know, so I can get the maximum refund.  

The easiest way I've found to keep track of what I'm donating is to have a paper and pen next to my donation bag/box.  As things go in, I write down what it was.  That way when the bag is full, I take it to be donated and file my list (along with my donation receipt) in my tax file.  

When it's time to do my taxes, I have my list of what was donated and when.  I use It's Deductible as part of Turbo Tax which estimates what each item is worth so I don't have to think about that part either.

So when I was doing my taxes for this past year I gathered up all my donation lists and got busy.  It took about 2 hours (there were some breaks in there too) to list all I had donated.  According to Turbo Tax, the value of my donations was $2683.  Of course I don't get that much in return, but what I did get in return was an additional $375 back.  I couldn't have made that much money selling my stuff at yard sales or craigslist.  And most of the items were small things such as clothing and toys.  Anything of value we did sell on craigslist, so if I had tried to sell the stuff I donated, I wouldn't have asked more than $10 for any one thing.  Overall, I think it was worth it.  The small amount of time to keep track of what I donate and the couple of hours to enter it in Turbo Tax was well worth that extra $375.

Anyone else keep track of their donations?  Have you figured out how much money you get back for your donations?

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