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Donate silver plate flatware for income tax deduction

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Disclaimer: This article contains information related to United States income tax returns. The author is not a tax expert. A reader should seek advice from qualified tax professionals who can provide competent advice regarding applicable federal tax laws and how they relate to the reader’s specific situation.

Tomorrow is the income tax filing deadline, April 15. If you are looking for last minute itemized deductions and you have a set of silver plate flatware lying around that you never use, consider donating it to a charity and using that as a deduction. The IRS allows a taxpayer to deduct the value of a non-cash contribution to charity.

A problem that arises is determining the value of the set. Here’s a question I have. Is it reasonable to assign a fair market value based upon the prices quoted by silver replacement companies for used pieces like yours? If it is reasonable, you might net a greater benefit by donating rather than by trying to sell the set. If you are a frequent reader of my articles, you know that I often talk about the difficulty encountered in selling used silver plate flatware.

This benefit is only useful if:

  • You itemize deductions on your federal income tax return
  • Your marginal tax rate is high enough to make it worth the trouble

Here’s an IRS web page that talks about this:

Follow the rules and be sure to read the disclaimer at the beginning of this article before moving ahead.

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