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Tax Tip: Take Pictures to Track Your Donations

When I sheepishly told my tax preparer that I'd misplaced my receipts for the donations I made to Goodwill throughout 2008, he gave me a good-willed evil eye and then offered a great piece of advice. He said that while he's claimed thousands and thousands of dollars in donations throughout the years, and never once has anyone come knocking for proof, but that not everyone is left unbothered.

He picked up a smart tactic from his clients, and I'm going to start using it the next time I have a donation bag ready to go: Take pictures of the items you donate and then upload the photos to your computer. Should anyone come asking for evidence, you have more than a receipt to support your story. When it comes to taxes, it's always better to be safe than sorry.


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sofi sofi 8 years
great idea. I'll take a pic of the boxes and bags on my porch next time. Why would I collect everything and put it on my porch if not for collection, right? I hope IRS sees it that way if ever they decide to check.
LaLaLaurie06 LaLaLaurie06 8 years
But even if you take a picture of the stuff, that's not proof that you donated it. Just proof that you once owned it and put it in a donation bag. Maybe I'll take a picture of me standing next to the Goodwill person while holding the donations. :)
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Great idea, I've always wondered about this. I give donations all the time to Goodwill but never claim it since I don't get documentation.
Liss1 Liss1 8 years
Great idea!
chatondeneige chatondeneige 8 years
That's an awesome idea! I just made a big donation, but a year from now I'll completely forget what I donated. I'd suggest also backing it up online (like photobucket?) in case your computer has a big issue.
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