How To Itemize a Clothing List for Deduction

If you’re one of the taxpayers who itemize, charitable contributions can be a great way to reduce your taxable income. In addition to money you give to nonprofit causes you support throughout the year, you can also claim items you donate. In particular, that closet full of clothing that no longer fits can actually be donated, with the value of the items claimed on your taxes.


To itemize your clothing donation, you’ll first determine the fair market value and then use IRS Form 8283.

About the Clothing Donation Tax Deduction

Clothing donations are taxable as long as you itemize on your taxes. However, there are documentation requirements attached to them. If it all possible, it’s best to get a receipt to serve as proof that you made the donation, although you aren’t required to have one if a donation’s fair market value totaled $250 or less and it was impractical to get one (using a clothing bin for example). If the donation is $250 or more, you’ll need written documentation of the donation that includes the name of the organization, donation amount and a description of the items. If you need help determining the fair market value of your clothing items, check the Goodwill Donation Value Guide.

Clothing Donation Exceptions

Unfortunately, not every charitable donation is tax deductible. If you gave your unused clothing to a friend, for instance, you can’t claim it on your taxes, even if your friend lost all her clothing in a disaster. You can claim a Goodwill tax deduction, as well as deductions if you donate to organizations like the Salvation Army, as well as many crisis centers. If you aren’t sure, the IRS maintains a database called the Tax Exempt Organization Search. You can enter your city and state and get a list of qualifying nonprofits in your area.

2018 Taxes and Standard Deductions

Before you go the extra mile to get a receipt, you’ll want to pay close attention to the standard deduction. It has seen such a substantial increase, you may find that itemizing isn’t worth it. Starting in 2018, the standard deduction for single filers is $12,000, and married couples filing jointly will have a $24,000 standard deduction. Unless you have a long list of deductions, those clothing donations may not even put you close to what you can get without itemizing.

Claiming Donations on Your 2017 Taxes

If you’re filing your 2017 taxes, use a clothing tax deduction calculator to determine if your donations help you exceed the $6,350 standard deduction ($12,700 for married couples filing jointly). If so, gather your paperwork and list your clothing deductions on Form 8283.