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I believe I have this 80% figured out although theres still some grey areas thus far based on researching a variety of tax websites and IRS's official page.

My situation is as follows.

Donating FIVE large black garage bags full of girl clothes (Shirts, foot wear, pants, belts, shorts, and hats) - all of which is fairly new and/or good condition. Same goes with TWO small totes of boy clothing.

I can't seem to find any "sample fill-ins" online regarding the 8283 form. The value is < $5,000.00 meaning I'll be only filling out Section A. I also know that I don't have any "single" items over $500.00 which means I won't need an appraisal (third-party valuation).

I've taken pictures of the bags, as well as the items that went into the bag.

Slightly confuse about a few things...

1.) Do I really need to fill out a line-item (itemize) of each clothing on a separate document of which I create? Wouldn't the photos be suffice?

2.) Is it better to give every bag to one organization or should I diversify among others? or this wouldn't make any difference at all?

3.) I'm only suppose to fill out "Part 1 - columns (a)(c)(d)(h)(i)" correct?

4.) Do you have any other tips when filling out this document?

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You need to know exactly what items are being donated to each charity. I have never taken photos, but I also have never had to prove it.

To value each item I use the itsDeductible tool in Turbo Tax. They have estimated values for hundreds or thousands of items. They have different values for kids clothes vs adult clothes.

1.) Do I really need to fill out a line-item (itemize) of each clothing on a separate document of which I create? Wouldn't the photos be suffice?

Before using the Itsdeductible tool I just created a spreadsheet, one page per charity. I just had columns for item type, quantity, value per item and total.

Even today I also have a receipt from each drop off, and my handwritten list on items in each drop off. These are used to enter the value in to the software.

2.) Is it better to give every bag to one organization or should I diversify among others? or this wouldn't make any difference at all?

I split my donations throughout the year to different organizations so I don't run into ant annual limits that would require more proof. I also don't wait until I have 5 bags.

3.) I'm only suppose to fill out "Part 1 - columns (a)(c)(d)(h)(i)" correct?

That is the only columns that the tax software fills out. One line per charity.

4.) Do you have any other tips when filling out this document?

Put the receipt and the list in a safe place, so that you will have it when you fill out your taxes.

If I have en item that was never used, I keep the receipt for the purchase and use the price on the receipt for the value. I do this when I purchase the goods directly for the donation, for example a giving tree or a food drive. It is still a non-cash donation but I also know exactly what I spent and since I never used the item I know the value of the item.

  • "so I don't run into any annual limits that would require more proof." The organizations don't have a limit. The IRS sets the limits. Hence, any single item >$500 and/or total sum of more than $5,000 would need an appraisal (third party valuation). – James Dean Mar 13 '17 at 14:17

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