Household items include furniture, furnishings, electronics, appliances and linens. Clothing and household items donated to charity generally must be in good used condition or better to be tax deductible. A clothing or household item worth over $500 does not have to meet this standard if you include a qualified appraisal of the item with your return.

To be deductible, you must generally get a receipt from the charity showing the date and place of the contribution and a description of the property. However, for gifts under $250, if it is impractical to obtain a receipt (e.g., goods are delivered to an unattended drop site) a receipt is not required if you have written records with the same information as required for gifts over $500 (as described below).

If the gift is worth $250 or more, you must get a written acknowledgement from the charity that includes a description of what was donated and when, and a statement either that no goods or services were rendered in return for the donation or describing and valuing what the charity provided in return. The acknowledgment must be obtained by the time the tax return for the year of the donation is filed or due, whichever comes first.

If the amount of your deduction for all similar noncash contributions (such as clothing, jewelry, furniture, electronic equipment, household appliances) is over $500, you must keep written records that (1) indicate the appropriate date each noncash item was acquired, (2) include a reasonably detailed description of the donated property along with its condition, (3) estimate the purchase price of the item, (4) describe its current retail (usually second-hand or thrift-store) value, and (5) explain how this value was determined (e.g., from the Salvation Army’s online donation guide: If the amount of your deduction for all similar noncash contributions is over $5,000, you’ll generally need to have the items appraised by a qualified appraiser.