Today TaxMama hears from Marilyn in Forestville, CA, who observes “I just looked over the ItsDeductible software/book and saw that you had given it a plug. I looked through some of their pricing and want to know if the IRS actually accepts those figures.
The authors are dreaming – I am a big thrift store shopper and even at the highest end stores, have not seen prices like that. Perhaps in a lone consignment shop in Beverly Hills? I mean, 4 used baby blankets for $40? Thats one of their “deductions”! You can probably buy them new at Henri Bendel’s for that price. And 5 used board games like Clue and Monopoly for $190!! Where do these people shop?
I searched around the web and could not find info confirming that the IRS would accept these figures (except from sellers of ItsDeductible). Would you use this product to prepare your client’s return?”
You’re a wise shopper. And that’s an excellent observation. Although, looking at the catalogs I get, baby blankets seem to run about $60 each, new…so $40 for 4 of them used isn’t a stretch.
But to get back to the main question – does IRS accept these numbers?
As it happens, I asked them, point blank, about this time last year, for a MarketWatch column.
Here’s the response I got from John Lipold, a spokesman in the IRS’ Washington office. Obviously “the tax agency doesn’t take a formal stand on products like Intuit’s.”
But the IRS didn’t say it had any objections, either. Since “It’s Deductible” is used extensively, it seems a reliable bet.
I searched and searched for another product last year and couldn’t find one. BUT, this year, there is another product out there. I can’t find it now – and they’re not doing a great job marketing it since it doesn’t show up as a paid ad when you Google ItsDeductible. Oh well, it will turn up somewhere. Perhaps they’ll write us a comment on this podcast?
And would I use this to prepare my clients’ returns?
No. Why? Because I don’t prepare their donation schedules. They do.
But yes, I do advise my clients to get itsDeductible. Why? Because gives them an objective value for the items they donate. We can print out the information and save it in their tax files.
Do I recommend them because they are a sponsor? You must be kidding!
They are a sponsor because I approve of the product.
TaxMama.com routinely turns down thousands of dollars a year from prospective sponsors because I don’t like or trust the product or the company.
So, remember, you’ll find answers to questions about tax deductions and all kinds of tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At TaxMama.com
- Ask TaxMama :: Where taxes are fun and answers are free
- ItsDeductible software :: Provides values for personal goods donated to charities
- TaxWatch column :: The right way to put price tag on your donations