Year after year, this is the number one tax strategy that tax payers who itemize fail to consider. To claim the deduction, the donations must be substantiated by a written receipt that includes the name of the charity, dates and location of the donation, and a reasonably detailed description of the property donated. If the value of the donated items is less than $250, a receipt is not required. For items with a total value more than $500, you will need to file Form 8283 and you may need a qualified appraisal for donating items or a group of items valued at more than $5000. For the Salvation Army’s Non-Cash Charitable Donation Valuation Worksheet, to help you value your donations, click here.