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Ups and downs of charitable drop-offs

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in Small Business Tax,Small Business Tax Deduction Strategies

Q. I left property at a charity’s unattended drop site last year. Can I deduct the value without a receipt? R.M., Quincy, Mass.

A. It depends. A receipt isn’t required if you’re claiming that the value of the property is less than $250. However, you still must have a written record of the contribution, including a list of the items donated, their value, and the date of the contribution and the location of the charity. Technically, you must obtain a written acknowledgment from a charity for donations valued at $250 or more.

Additional records are required for property valued above $5,000. See IRS Publication 526, Charitable Contributions, at www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p526.pdf.

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