How much can you say that you donated safely without proof
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New Member

How much can you say that you donated safely without proof

I have donated alot of items over last year, but I have no proof of them being donated. How much should I put down that I donated without  being audited.
19 Replies
New Member

How much can you say that you donated safely without proof

Realistically, if you're randomly audited you're not going to have any problems if the value of all of your donated items at a place such as Goodwill etc. is a few to several hundred dollars, receipt or not.  Anything over $1,000 and I would definitely want to have a receipt.  Those 18-wheel trailers are often unattended, but you can drop off goods 24/7/365 and wouldn't receive a receipt, so it's not uncommon at all not to not have written proof.  Worst case scenario if you deducted an amount such as that is that you'd be forced to remove the deduction if you were audited and couldn't provide a receipt, but the odds of being audited AND being forced to remove the charitable deduction are probably about a million to one.
Level 7

How much can you say that you donated safely without proof

Realistically, you sign your return with an affirmation that everything in the return is true, complete and correct to the best of your knowledge.  If you include a donation that you know is not true, the word for that is "fraud".  Once the IRS has determined that you have commited this fraud, they will tear the rest of return apart limb from limb on the assumption that if you are willing to lie about this, you will lie about other things too.  And then they'll open up prior years looking for more issues.  If you are comfortable with the IRS moving into your life, that's up to you.  I believe the advice above is misguided and dangerous and would recommend that anyone preparing a tax return do so in accordance with the rules and regulations promulgated for that purpose.
New Member

How much can you say that you donated safely without proof

So I dropped off several things at Goodwill about twice a month and got a receipt, entered it in itsdeductible itemized, so with htat attached to the goodwill receipt is that suffricient?  It looks like the total inputted for all donatins through year is over $2,000 however each time was never more than about $200... should I reduce it? I don't have any "appraisel" but we never dropped off a high item it is all the items added up...
New Member

How much can you say that you donated safely without proof

I would say if you used its deductible and got your fair market values, then you should be fine. As added re-assurance, I always like to take pictures of my donations- just in case I get audited.
New Member

How much can you say that you donated safely without proof

Don't be a [removed], @Howard1948. He didn't say he was commiting fraud. He didn't have a receipt for the items he donated, and he wanted to know the best way to handle this on his tax return.
New Member

How much can you say that you donated safely without proof

That is such a great idea to take pictures. I wish I had done that this year. I took donations and with its deductible it came out to over 800.  I do have a receipt from the drop off center. Is that enough to cover my bases.
New Member

How much can you say that you donated safely without proof

where does the 1099 Q go?
New Member

How much can you say that you donated safely without proof

I took pictures too over the years, but really, anyone can take pictures of a bunch of stuff and how does anyone know it was donated?
New Member

How much can you say that you donated safely without proof

Null's answer is the best if you don't make over $250 in noncash contributions to a single charity, and no more than $500 total. See below.
New Member

How much can you say that you donated safely without proof

I am a former tax cpa.  When I first started out, I noticed that almost every client of ours had a $499 charitable deduction (in addition to actual cash they gave to church).  So our CPA must have decided that $499 was a "safe" amount.  However, the actual formula for deciding audits is secret, and no one can actually tell you the answer (it's best guesses).  Always get a receipt when donating.  If you don't have proof and you are audited (very low risk), then you will have to pay back taxes and interest on that amount.
Level 7

How much can you say that you donated safely without proof

You cannot claim a charitable contribution without a receipt.  The only exception is donations made to organizations that have a dropbox type operation where a receipt is impractical.
New Member

How much can you say that you donated safely without proof

If you call the company, they will mail you a receipt
New Member

How much can you say that you donated safely without proof

Don't worry about it, seriously. It is chiefly reasonable estimation, good-faith, honor system; you will absolutely not be audited, ever, unless you claim 30k for a car or 90k for a painting or even 5k for a legacy baseball uniform of something. Otherwise, give it your best guess and call it a day and don't lose any sleep over it.
New Member

How much can you say that you donated safely without proof

If the total value of all your non-cash donations is greater than $500, you will need to fill out IRS form 8283.

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