Love those non-cash donations..

Well, being that it’s tax time again, I just have to say how much I love giving our old junk away to charity. Lately, our favorite charity for this kind of thing is Vietnam Veterans of America. This is just such a win-win for all parties involved, that I can’t say enough about it. Consider:

  1. We get rid of stuff we don’t need any more, that was cluttering up the house.
  2. We get a tax deduction for it.
  3. It’s easier than having a yard sale or selling on EBay.
  4. The stuff goes to a good cause.

For this past year’s donations, I tried out H&R Block’s DeductionPro software, which includes a large built-in database of valuations for various items. The only reason I tried it was because they threw it in for free with my purchase of TaxCut, but I have to say I like it. It simplifies the record-keeping process and keeps a running tally of the total deduction amount. If it stays free, I’ll certainly continue to use it. If not, I’ll weigh the benefits of using it vs. using a spreadsheet or somesuch. We’ll see.

An important part of this is picking the right charity. The cause itself is important, of course, but the charity also needs to be reliable. When you go to the trouble of scheduling a pick-up and dragging the stuff outside, you want them to show up and take the stuff. After a couple bad experiences with other charities, we’ve found VVA to be very good in this department.

Again.. can’t say enough about this.. get rid of junk, help a good cause, get tax writeoff. It doesn’t get any better.