I know supplies I purchase to use with the children at church are deductible and Turbo Tax says to enter them as a cash deduction. Since Samaritan's Purse is a charitible organization I was wondering if items for the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes are treated the same?
The items you purchase and donate to a 501(c)(3) charity are deductible. According to Samaritans Purse's website, they are a 501(c)(3) charity and therefore the cost of what you donated to them is deductible.
I also asked if they were treated as a cash donation?
No, it is a donation of items. You can use the price you paid new, and not the used prices in Turbotax, just make a custom donation rather than using one of the pre-selected choices.
How fo I obtain the forms to file my gifts
Do I just keep the receipts?
If you donate items to a charity, you can enter them in the Gifts to Charity section of Turbotax. You can use ItsDeductible values for used items, or use the price you paid if you purchased and donated new items. For proof, you generally need proof of the value of the items, and proof from the organization that you made a donation (a letter or acknowledgment, the letter from the organization does not have to list the items or their values, that comes from your separate proof.)
If you give non-cash items totaling more than $500, Turbotax will generate a form 8283 and attach it to your tax return. You don't need to send additional proof to the IRS, but keep your proof with your other important tax papers for at least 3 years in case of audit.