Taxpayers must fill out donation forms with their name, address, taxpayer identification number, the value of the donation and date of donation, according to the Internal Revenue Service. Other form requirements include the name of the organization, a description of non-cash donations and the form of the donation, such as cash, stocks and bonds, or items. The IRS requires donors to maintain a record of all donations, including a bank record, letter of donation from the organization or payroll deduction.
The IRS accepts donations to approved organizations as valid tax deductions, but contributions to individuals, some political organizations and political candidates are not considered valid deductions. Items donated to approved organizations are valued on donation and tax forms at fair market value. If the donor receives a gift or other item in return for a donation, the amount of the donation for tax purposes must be the difference between the donation's fair market value and the value of the gift, as the IRS explains. All donated items donated must be in good or excellent condition to qualify as a tax deduction.
Donors are required to maintain copies of the donation forms when contributing items to certain organizations, such as Goodwill, which takes itemized donations in bulk. The websites for the IRS and Goodwill both provide donors with a list of estimated values for commonly donated items based on condition.