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Goodwill: Wednesday last day for tax write-offs

The holiday season leave your wallet a bit lighter? You can get a little money back from Uncle Sam by donating gently used clothing and other unwanted items to Goodwill Industries for an end-of-year tax write-off.

Wednesday, Dec. 31 is that last day to donate your items in order to get your tax receipt to claim for 2008.

By cleaning your closets and garages, you get more than a tax deduction, said Kristen Sherer, Public Relations Director for Goodwill Industries of Central Alabama.

She said Goodwill uses the revenue from donations for its education and career services for people with disabilities and disadvantages such as welfare dependency, homelessness, and lack of education or work experience.

Goodwill channels 83 percent of its revenues directly into its services, she said.

“End the holiday season and start the New Year off right by giving the gift of hope,” said Sherer. “Every donation to Goodwill helps make 2009 a better year for thousands of individuals who need job training and other Goodwill career services.”

Goodwill accepts clothing, household items, toys, furniture, and vehicles – even those holiday gifts that weren’t quite right.

Donations are sold in 2,078 retail stores throughout the United States and Canada. The Goodwill Industries has 10 stores around Central Alabama: Two locations in Montgomery, 900 Air Base Blvd. and 5326 Atlanta Hwy.; Prattville, 155 West Main Street; Greenville, Andalusia, Dothan, Ozark, Selma, Troy and Enterprise. To arrange for a donation pick up, please call (334) 264-2406.

The Greenville store is located at 219 W. Commerce St and the phone number is 382-6244.

According to Sherer, donors interested in claiming tax deductions should keep itemized lists of their donations. The Internal Revenue Service allows a deduction for each item, but the donor determines each item’s value.

“Generally, an item’s value should be based on fair market value – what the item would sell for in a thrift store,” she said. “Goodwill provides receipts to donors at its drop-off sites, and attendants can validate itemized lists when they are presented.”