now the season to get your taxes ready for the IRS. To reap
any benefit from charitable contributions you must itemize your
deductions on your tax return. To claim any charitable gifts or
contributions, whether it be a big ticket item like a car or a box
of clothes, it will probably only be a benefit if your total
itemized deductions exceed the allowed standard deduction.
Depending on your filing status, single or married or head of household, the standard deduction is for single filers $12,000, married filers who file jointly $24,000, and $18,000 for those who qualify as head of household. For those that are married filing jointly and either you or your spouse are age 65 or older the standard deduction increases by $1,300. If both are 65 or older it increases by $2,600. For head of households 65 or older the increase is $1,600. Additionally, there are increases for the legally blind. To have any benefit you would need to exceed that amount from all of your itemized allowable deductions. Check for the allowable standard deduction as they change year to year.
If you have a particular situation that you believe is unique then consult with a tax professional.
Charities don't value items on a receipt, although they can offer general guidelines for particular items. Some charities like Goodwill and the Salvation Army will even post these values online for the current year that you can use. Be aware though, that some charities such as Goodwill post values on their websites that represent what these items sell for in their stores. These amounts might or might not be the same amount you can claim as a tax deduction. Tax software have these values built in so doing it that way allows you to list the items and they end up with an allowed amount.
If you think that your particular situation can benefit from itemizing there are several very good websites that offer guidance on valuing gifts, such as clothing, electronics, furniture and household items, household appliances. For vehicles the IRS has particular rules that you can read about here: Car Donations Tax Rules