Donations and tax write-offs when downsizing

I’ve filed my taxes. And I have a few words of advice:

If you are planning to downsize and someone encourages it because of the tax write-offs, don’t listen. After donating 2000 pounds of stuff in 2012, when I did my taxes I didn’t itemize for the first time in many years.

My initial fear was that itemizing 2000 pounds worth of donations might result in an audit. I’m sure the IRS auditors don’t generally see that dramatic a write-off. Or at least they haven’t ever seen anything like that from me.

When I actually did my taxes, though, I ran into another, more interesting problem I hadn’t considered before: I’d sold my big house. Which means that $1400 write off for property taxes wasn’t a part of this year’s itemization. Neither was a mortgage. Nor were any previously considered capital improvements. Along with one other previously itemize-able lifestyle change, these added up to less than the standard deduction for the first time in more than ten years.

Do I regret downsizing? Not at all. I’m as happy now as before I filed. But I was surprised. In reality, it was somewhat a pleasant surprise, because without itemizing, there will be less chance of an audit.

Of course, the fact that I couldn’t itemize this year also means one other thing: I didn’t spend the money to begin with, so even though I will pay more in taxes this year, I spent far less, as well. And am happier for it.

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About thrugracealone

I'm a country girl raised city. I prefer open windows to AC, love a good thunderstorm, and enjoy hearing the owls and seeing lightning bugs. A bit old-fashioned, maybe, I can recognize many trees by name, resent elms and weeds, wish for a large garden and canning skills, and hope someday to downsize and get a few acres in the country. I am blessed with a terrific church, a good job, a sturdy house, two cats and a yard full of strawberries and mulberries in the right season. Some of my other favorite things to do are spoiling nieces and nephews, reading, swimming, biking, long walks, and blogging, of course. One of my favorite stories is creation. My abbreviated version goes like this: 1In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2Now the earth wasa formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters... And God moved... And God said... And it was very good. If God can speak to darkness, to an earth without form and void, and make something like this that we see everyday, and make it very good (and it was even better before the Fall!), He will surely make something wonderful out of the dark, void situations I sometimes find myself in. He has, and it's been very good. Two top posts: Can a Person Lose their Salvation? http://wp.me/p1CY5z-1R Baptism! http://wp.me/s1CY5z-baptism

Posted on April 13, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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