Donation bins are not all for charity
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
CREATED Dec. 24, 2012
FT. MYERS - Many people traditionally donate clothing and unused items by putting them in donation boxes scattered throughout Southwest Florida, but they may not be given to a charity.
"The growth that we've seen in the number of these bins in the past two months really has surprised all of us," said Kirsten O'Donnell with Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida, Inc.
Many of the bins have catchy slogans about helping the environment and use key words like recycle, leading some people to think that the clothing will help a charity and as such will be a tax deduction.
"What bothers us and concerns us and a lot of non-profits in the area is we feel these companies are being deceptive in their practices."
But claiming donations that were given to a for-profit company can put you in the crosshairs of the IRS.
"You can only deduct an item that's donated to an approved nonprofit."
Only donations made to IRS-approved nonprofit organizations are tax-deductible.
Donors can make sure their donations are benefiting the people who need them most by researching the organization accepting the donation.