What is considered a donated item?


Quick Answer

For tax purposes, donated items can be any item given to a recognized charitable organization. Donated items can be tangible things such as household items or financial donations such as stocks.

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Full Answer

Clothing and food are some of the most common items donated to charities, but almost any item can be a donated item. Donating cars or other vehicles is a common practice. Most items must be in good condition to qualify as donated items for tax purposes. Money donated directly to the organization through cash or check can also count as donated items for tax purposes.

If the original owner of the item receives a gift or prize in return, the donated item may not always be deductible. As a general rule, if the value of the prize is equal to or greater than the fair market value of the donation, the donation cannot be deducted. If the prize is less valuable, the excess value of the donated item can be deducted.

Although some people donate items to small charities that have not filed for tax-exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service, these donations cannot be deducted on taxes. Common examples of tax-exempt organizations are churches, government agencies, animal shelters and educational groups. It is important to verify an organization's standing with the IRS before deducting any donations made to them.

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