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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why should I subscribe to CharityDeductions.com?

 

A. If you itemize your deductions when you file your taxes, you should be able get a larger refund or pay less in taxes by using our fair market valuations.

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Q. How much will I save by using CharityDeductions.com?

A. Many factors will determine your savings. How many items you donate, the value of each item, and your tax bracket will determine your savings. We believe you will quickly see a noticeable difference in your charitable deductions. Take advantage of our Free Trial offer to see for yourself.

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Q. What things does your website have values for and how are they determined?

A. Our website has thousands of categories.  Each category is based on many more thousands of completed successful auctions on eBay®.  Our licensing agreement allows us to use that massive amount of data to provide you valuations for nearly anything you can find on eBay®.

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Q. What if I don't itemize, but use the standard deduction when I file my taxes?

A. If you only use the standard deduction when you file your tax return, you won't be able to increase your charitable deductions with this website.

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Q. What is the annual subscription amount?

A. Annual subscriptions are $24.95 per tax year. Purchasing multiple years at once reduces the subscription rate.

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Q. Does the IRS accept or guarantee your valuations?

A. Although our website is not endorsed by the IRS, it does comply with IRS valuation guidelines. What this means is that our valuations use IRS approved guidelines on how to determine the fair market value of a donated item.  Our clients have been audited by the IRS and the IRS has accepted our valuations in each of those cases to date.

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Q. What happens if I'm audited by the IRS?

A. If you are audited by the IRS, we would provide the following support to paying customers:

  1. First, we've made arrangements with an attorney/CPA who is experienced with the IRS audit process. We can arrange an initial consultation if you would like.  We recommend that you do contact a professional familiar with the IRS audit procedure.
  2. Second, we would provide our database information regarding the specific valuation and explain our valuation process being questioned. What we cannot prove is what condition the donated item was in, what it cost you, or if you actually donated it. That would be for you to support and prove.
  3. Third, by using our website before you donate you could use our "Donation List Receipt" report that provides proof that you donated the items, but again the condition and cost would be unknown to us and for you to support.
  4. Finally, IRS publications 526 & 561 are available for download on our "tax forms" section of the website after you sign in. You can also get these publications at the www.irs.gov website. These publications deal with how to determine fair market values. We believe our valuations meet those IRS guidelines.
  5. Audit support to Free Trial members is not included.  If audit support is desired, the Free Trial member would bear all legal and research costs.

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Q. How is my personal information used or shared by CharityDeductions.com?

A. Charitydeductions.com will not reveal customer information to any external organization unless we have previously informed the customer in disclosures or agreements, have been authorized by the customer, or are required by law. For more information see our privacy policy.

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Q. Are there limits to the amount I can deduct on my tax return?

A. Yes, you should consult your account/tax preparer to determine your limits. However, this website is normally useful for donations in the $0-$5000 range.

Q. Do I have to fill out additional IRS forms if I donate more than $500?

A. If you have non-cash donations that total more than $500, then you need to file IRS Form 8283 with your tax return. We provide a fill-in version of the form and instructions that can be downloaded from our website along with other useful IRS forms and publications.

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Q. What if I have more than $5000 in donations for a single tax year?

A. Generally, you must also obtain a qualified written appraisal of the donated property from a qualified appraiser. This website would not qualify.

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Q. What kind of records do I need to claim charitable deductions?

A. The following is excerpted from IRS Summertime Tax Tip 2007-14: New Rules May Impact Your Charitable Contributions.

Charitable contributions can be tax deductible, but you must have the proper records to support your deduction. Due to the Pension Protection Act of 2006 the rules on recordkeeping for charitable contributions became a little more strict beginning in January 2007.

To deduct a charitable cash donation, regardless of the amount, you must have a bank record or a written communication from the charity showing the name of the charity and the date and amount of the contribution. Acceptable bank records would include canceled checks or bank or credit union statements containing the name of the charity, the date and the amount of the contribution.

Under the previous rules, records such as personal bank registers, diaries or notes made around the time of the donation could often be used as evidence of cash donations. Personal records like this are no longer sufficient.

Read the entire article…(click here)

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Updated 8/11/11

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