Americans make charitable donations of clothing and other items every year. In 2014, for example, the total amount given to charitable organizations was $358.38 billion. While a recent survey showed that some people give more during the holidays, others donate throughout the year.
Charitable Donations and Tax Deductions
Even though Americans make used clothing donations because they want to help others, these items are also tax deductible. When making a donation, it’s important to give to organizations that have been granted tax-exempt status by Internal Revenue Code section 501 (c) (3).
In order to receive credit for making a donation over $250.00, the IRS requires a receipt. A qualified appraisal is also required for items that are valued over $500.00. This appraisal is specifically needed for items that may not be in good or better condition, but are still considered to have value.
When people aren’t quite sure how to assign a dollar amount to an item, resources are usually available for this purpose. A man’s suit or coat, for example, might be worth $60.00 for a tax write-off. Coffee makers, however, are usually worth about $4.00 to $15.00 as a tax write-off. This will usually depend on the brand and size of the coffee maker.
The Benefits of Donating Clothing and Household Textiles
The typical person in the United States purchases about twice as much clothing as they did 20 years ago. Even though nearly all clothing and household textiles can be recycled, Americans continue to throw away 70 pounds of these items every year. This amounts to roughly10.5 million tons of clothing and household textiles that winds up in landfills rather than being recycled, reused, or repurposed.
It’s important to note, however, that approximately 4.7 billion pounds of clothing is donated every year. Nearly half, or 45%, of the clothing can be worn again after being purchased at stores run by charitable organizations. The Military Order of the Purple Heart is an organization that assists veterans and their families. Donations to this organization can either be dropped off or picked up by GreenDrop.
Encouraging Others to Donate
When people make donations of clothing,, they often post a note to their social media sites. This can encourage others to donate clothing and household textiles rather than throw them away. A recent survey showed that 70% of an individual’s social media contacts have been inspired to respond and take some type of action as a result of reading these posts.