I am giving my designer suits to charity. How much can I deduct?

July 02, 2014 by Dave Du Val, EA
Dress Shirts

Hey Dave,

Could you advise on how the value of items is determined for charitable contributions? I am about to donate several of my designer suits to charity.




As a general rule, you would use the fair market value of the items. Fair market value is the price at which property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither having to buy or sell, and both having reasonable knowledge of all the relevant facts.

Since the rules and guidelines vary by property type, your best bet would be to review the section titled Determining Fair Market Value in IRS Publication 526.

The IRS frequently questions deductions for items that appear to be overvalued, which is why we strongly recommend that you document your valuations with photographs, detailed lists of the specific items you donated, canceled checks, receipts from your purchase of the items, or other evidence, such as website information or magazine articles.

Some versions of TurboTax include the “It’s Deductible” feature, and there is also an “It’s Deductible” app that helps with charitable contribution valuations. Both Goodwill and the Salvation Army also have valuation estimates on their websites for common items such as clothing and household appliances.

The important thing is to keep your value estimates reasonable. Even if you are addicted to designer suits, they generally have very little fair market value in the thrift store market.

Deductibly Yours,




David E. Du Val, EA
Chief Compliance Officer for TRI Holdco


Dave Du Val, EA, is Chief Compliance Officer for TRI Holdco. Inc., the parent company of TaxAudit, and Centenal Tax Group. A nationally recognized speaker and educator, Dave is well known for his high energy and dynamic presentation style. He is a frequent and popular guest speaker for the California Society of Tax Consultants, the California Society of Enrolled Agents and the National Association of Tax Professionals. Dave frequently contributes tax tips and information to news publications, including US News and World Report, USA Today, and CPA Practice Advisor. Dave is an Enrolled Agent who has prepared thousands of returns during his career and has trained and mentored hundreds of tax professionals. He is a member of the National Association of Tax Professionals, the National Association of Enrolled Agents and the California Society of Enrolled Agents. Dave also holds a Master of Arts in Education and has been educating people since 1972. 


Recent Articles

Stack of books, graduation hat, and rolled up diploma
There are some tax-saving opportunities available for graduate school tuition, like the credits for undergraduate expenses. They each have some limitations.
Woman Reading Letter
The IRS sends out a CP14 notice to notify a taxpayer when they have unpaid taxes and/or penalties and interest. What should you do if you get a CP14?
Woman Shopping for Over the Counter Medications
When it comes to medications, you can only deduct the amounts that you pay for medicines or drugs that have been prescribed for you by a doctor.
April 2023 Calendar with Tax Day written on April 18th
In 2023 the tax returns are due April 18th for most taxpayers. However, if you live in California, Alabama, or Georgia your taxes may be due at a later date.
This blog does not provide legal, financial, accounting, or tax advice. The content on this blog is “as is” and carries no warranties. TaxAudit does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, reliability, and completeness of the content of this blog. Content may become out of date as tax laws change. TaxAudit may, but has no obligation to monitor or respond to comments.