Goodwill is reminding potential donors that the clock is running out for taxpayers to claim deductions for charitable donations for 2011.
Dec. 31 is the last day that donations can be applied to the current tax year.
As is usual this time of the year, Goodwill of North Georgia is gearing up for what is traditionally its busiest week of the year.
“We anticipate serving nearly 67,000 donors this week alone,” said Elaine Armstrong, director of public relations for Goodwill, in a press release. “We encourage families to gather items now because with the hustle and bustle of the holidays, it’s easy to forget items you intended to donate.”
There are more than 100 locations where donors can give clothing, books, furniture and other household items, including a store at 39 E. May St., Suite J.
Unwanted computer equipment also can be donated. These are then recycled through a partnership with Dell that helps keep potentially harmful items out of landfills.
Because of the increase in activity at its facilities, Goodwill is reminding donors to go through a six-point check of items to be donated before leaving the house.
“Our goal is to make the experience quick and easy for donors, so we will have additional staff on hand to help speed up the process,” Armstrong said.
The following is the checklist suggested by Goodwill:
1. Are the pockets empty? Make sure you have emptied pant and coat pockets, purses and suitcases of any valuables or items you wish to keep.
2. Can Goodwill accept this? There are few household items Goodwill cannot accept. Among them are mattresses, large appliances, weapons, chemicals and carpeting.
3. Would I give this to family member or friend? Goodwill understands that its shoppers look for quality items when visiting its stores; therefore, the nonprofit has a policy against selling torn, stained and water-soaked items.
4. Is it in good used condition? According to the Internal Revenue Service, taxpayers may claim a deduction for donated items that are in good used condition or better.
5. Did I erase the memory? If you donate a computer, cell phone or other electronic device, be sure to delete any confidential or personal information before you bring it to Goodwill.
6. Did I make an inventory list? Be sure to make a record of each item you donate. While you won’t need to give it to Goodwill, you may have to produce it for Uncle Sam.
During the past year, Goodwill has added more than a dozen sites where North Georgians can donate. The nonprofit also launched a new location finder on its website, making it easy for donors to find their nearest location.
For more information about Goodwill of North Georgia, visit www.goodwillng.org.