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Deducting Non-Cash Donations of property
Before having your tax return prepared be sure you are ready. Goodwill type organizations do not price your items, this step is up to you. You should expect to spend some time before taking your items to a drop off spot as your homework will pay off with a solid tax deduction that will hold up in case of audit.
I recommend printing a copy of Goodwill's fair market value guide. Click here for valuation guide Then take a complete inventory of the items you are donating. i.e. 8 mens shirts, 3 mens sweaters, 2 womens purses, 3 pair boots, 3 pair jeans, 1 electric stove. Then using the pricing guide calculate the value of your donated items. Keep all your working papers in your permanent tax records for 4 years.
Sometimes donations may require an appraisal. If so be sure you get the items appraised well before your taxes get prepared.
Expanded tax credit for hiring unemployed veterans
Recent legislation expands the work opportunity tax credit.
The credit is available to businesses that hire eligible unemployed veterans who begin work on or after Nov. 22, 2011, and before Jan. 1, 2013.
The credit is very valuable at either 25 or 40% of qualified first-year wages, depending on how many hours the employee works. Drop me a note if you would like additional information on this money saving tax credit.
2018 Standard Mileage Rates
Beginning on Jan 1, 2018, the standard mileage rates for business use of your car will be
- 54.5 cents per mile for business miles driven(down from 54 cents)
- 18 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes(down from 23)
- 14 cents per mile driven for charitable purposes
Taxpayers usually have the option of calculating the actual costs of operating their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates. Either way you should maintain a log book or journal of your business miles. Also record your odometer readings annually on 12/31.