How to Estimate the Tax Deduction for Donating Kitchen Cabinets

Donating your old cabinets can score you a tax deduction.

Donating your old cabinets can score you a tax deduction.

If you're remodeling your kitchen or otherwise getting rid of old kitchen cabinets, you may decide to donate them to charity. Some charities, including Habitat for Humanity, invite people to donate building materials, furniture, appliances and other household items and may even offer to pick them up free of charge.

Tip

If you donate kitchen cabinets or other household items to charity, such as furniture or appliances, they generally must be in at least good used condition. In that case, you can claim its fair market value on your taxes.

Donate Kitchen Cabinets for a Deduction

The IRS will allow you to claim a deduction if you donate appliances, furniture or other household items to charity. You can generally only do so if the items are considered to be in good used condition or better.

The IRS doesn't explicitly define that term, but many charities explain what condition items should be in to be acceptable. For kitchen cabinets, Habitat for Humanity says they should be in "good working order" and that doors and drawers should be kept with the cabinets when they're donated.

In that case, you can claim up to the fair market value of the cabinets or other items. This is often less than the purchase price of the items, especially if they've sustained a little wear and tear or if styles have changed. You can determine the fair market value by finding equivalent items for sale online or by asking the charity for assistance.

You should keep any receipts you get from the charity, as well as other documentation, such as photographs of the donated cabinets and any receipts you have from when they were initially purchased.

You can generally claim up to 50 percent of your adjusted gross income as charitable donation deductions, and you can only take such deductions if you itemize.

Exceptions for Appraised High-Value Items

If you donate household items to charity and they're worth more than $500, you can claim them even if they're in worse than good used condition. You must include an appraisal with your tax return. This may apply if you have kitchen cabinets that have become collectible, are made of valuable materials or are aesthetically interesting, even if they're in poor repair at the time you donate them.

Ramifications of 2018 Tax Changes

Since you can only claim donations if you itemize your deductions, it's generally not worth going through the trouble to document donations if you're taking the standard deduction. For 2018, this has risen to $12,000 for single filers and $24,000 for married couples filing jointly.

Donations Under 2017 Tax Law

For 2017 the same basic logic applies, but the standard deduction is $6,350 for single filers and $12,700 for married couples filing jointly.

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About the Author

Steven Melendez is an independent journalist with a background in technology and business. He has written for a variety of business publications including Fast Company, the Wall Street Journal, Innovation Leader and Ad Age. He was awarded the Knight Foundation scholarship to Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

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