Same Old Closet to Clean But New Rules for Claiming the Tax Break

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Tax-deductible donations to Goodwill benefit jobless in your community.

Cleaning out your closet is an easy way to invest in your community and, at the same time, get a tax break

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Make room for your holiday gifts - de-clutter your home and give your gently used clothing and other unwanted items to Goodwill Industries. And claim a tax deduction to get a little money back from Uncle Sam in the process.

"Cleaning out your closet is an easy way to invest in your community and, at the same time, get a tax break," says George W. Kessinger, President and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. "Thanks to your donations, last year Goodwill helped someone find a job every 57 seconds of every business day."

With the passage of the Pension Protection Act in August 2006, new rules about claiming tax deductions for charitable donations went into effect. For cash contributions, donors must show a receipt from the charity, a canceled check, or credit card statement to prove their donation, and may not claim a deduction if they cannot provide supporting documentation. For material donations, donors may claim a deduction only for items that are in "good" condition. For items worth more than $500, a qualified appraisal must accompany the claim.    

"A good rule of thumb to follow when determining the condition of something you want to donate is to consider whether or not you would give it to a relative or a friend," says Kessinger. "If the answer is yes, then it's fit to donate and most likely in 'good' condition."

Goodwill accepts clothing, household items, toys, computers, cars and other vehicles - even those holiday gifts that weren't quite right. Items are sold in Goodwill stores and online at, for the benefit of Goodwill's job training and career services.

To make a financial donation by credit card, donors can visit, or send a check to Goodwill Industries International, Inc.; 15810 Indianola Drive; Rockville, MD 20855. To donate gently-used clothing and household items, use the online locator at to find the Goodwill near you, or call (800) 664-6577.

Goodwill Industries International is a network of 205 community-based, independent member organizations in the United States, Canada, and 22 other countries. Each organization serves people with disabilities, low-wage workers and other job seekers by providing education and career services, as well as job placement opportunities and post-employment support. Through its services, the network helps people overcome barriers to employment and become independent, tax-paying members of their communities. In 2005, more than 846,000 people benefited from Goodwill's career services. Goodwill Industries International reported $2.65 (b) billion in revenues, and channels 83 percent of its revenues directly into its programs and services.


Christine Nyirjesy Bragale, ABC

Director, Media Relations

Goodwill Industries International

Ph. (240) 333-5264

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