How To Donate Your Tax Deductible Clothing And Shoes Through Your Moving Company

Posted on: 10 December 2014

If you're tempted to throw out your unwanted clothing and shoes before you move to your new home, donate them instead. Your donations may be tax deductible, as well as wanted or needed by other people. Your local movers may take your donations off your hands before you locate to your new home. They can donate these items to a local organization, such as a church or thrift store. Afterward, you receive a receipt of your donated items that you can deduct from your annual taxes. Here's what you should know about your donated items and how you can write them off at tax time.

Who Takes Your Donated Clothing?

Local organizations in your old and new location may accept your old jeans, shirts, shoes and other items, as long as these items are clean, in good condition and usable. For example, your items should be free of:

  • Tears, holes and stains
  • Broken zippers, missing buttons or lost straps
  • Bad odors

Most places, such as thrift stores, sell the items to the public at affordable prices. Other organizations like community churches use the clothing and shoes to help families in need throughout the year, including during the holidays and right before school starts for kids. Because of these things, you may wish to donate your items as soon as you decide to move.

When Should You Schedule Your Donation Services?

You generally add donation services to your relocation plan when you contact your moving company. The movers may come by your current location to pick up the clothing several days to a week before you actually need to move. It gives them time to find suitable organizations for the donated clothing.  

In addition, you receive detailed receipts of your donated items, including the:

  • Names and addresses of the organizations that accepted your donations
  • Number of items you donated
  • List of items that the organizations didn't accept - you may choose to recycle the clothing and shoes instead

Keep the receipts in a safe place, such as a moisture-repellent and fire-resistant box. If you lose the receipts or they become damaged, you may have problems obtaining new copies of the receipts when you file your income taxes.

The receiving organizations may report the donations to the Internal Revenue Services (IRS) for their own tax deduction purposes. If the organizations do report them, and you don't report the donations on your own taxes, you may end up owing the IRS money. The receipts protect you from any potential problems.

How to Receive Your Tax Deductions?

When you settle into your new home, be sure to add your tax deductible clothing and shoes to your tax return. By doing so, you may reduce your tax liability for the year. If you use a tax service or accountant to file your income taxes, bring along the receipts you received from the moving company. You receive credit for every donation you made for the previous year. 

The IRS gives you a tax credit based on the entire value of your donated clothing and shoes. The value ranges from $250 and up, depending on the condition, age and number of items you donated. For instance, a child's shirt in excellent condition may hold a value of $3-5. If you donate five children's shirts of the same quality, you may multiply the value by five to get the amount of your donation for those specific items.

Keep in mind that you must appraise or set a value for each type of item you donate. For example, you set a separate value for your:

  • Dresses
  • Jeans
  • Pants
  • Shoes
  • Shirts

Once you determine the value of each type of item, you add the numbers together to get one total value. The total value is the one used by the IRS to determine your tax credit or write-off. If the IRS doesn't think that your total value is right, the tax organization can set its own value for your donated goods. A good tax software program can help you determine the best value of your clothing and shoes to avoid any changes or discrepancies.

If you need additional help with donating your old clothing and shoes, contact your moving company for more details. The company may have a list of organizations in your area that accept donations. If you can't donate all of your old items to the organizations because they don't meet the right conditions, ask your local moving services about recycling the clothing and shoes instead. You may still have the option of getting tax breaks if you do.