Getting the "wrong" presents for holiday occasions is a real issue. It has become so common that "gift receipts" may rival greeting cards as package enclosures.
Thinking of making a return? Research shows that today is the third worst day of the year to be out shopping (first is Black Friday, followed by Super Saturday).
Thankfully, Saline has alternatives. Donate those gifts to the underprivileged instead.
Here on East Michigan Avenue alone, you have three options — all open today with regular business hours.
- Goodwill Industries of Southeastern Michigan: 557 East Michigan Avenue (near Hallmark, down from Cottage Inn Pizza)
- Nu2U: 1311 East Michigan Avenue (in the Emagine Theatre plaza)
- Salvation Army: 423 East Michigan Avenue (across the parking lot behind CVS)
While the motivation for considering this option will often be altruistic, it's hard to avoid thinking about tax implications these days. Here are some thoughts from Capstone Tax & Financial.
"You do need to make the donation during this calendar year to include it on the tax return," says Gabriel Sandler, Financial Advisor and Enrolled Agent.
"The donation value of the item is different from its retail cost, because ultimately, your donation is actually what the thrift shop can sell the item for. The best way to value the item is to either utilize the published valuation guide that the thrift shop provides, which generally refers to the approximate used value of the item."
A sample "Donation Value Guide" can be found online.
This approach to handling many of your white elephants includes items that are "specific to Christmas." Believe it or not, there's a market for seasonal-specific item that extends well beyond December 25. Just a couple of weeks ago, Bruce Temby of The UPS Store in Saline pointed out that that his own business receives Christmas gifts for shipment well-into January.
But let's not kid ourselves here. Saline is an exceptionally generous community, and we barely need be presented with opportunities to help those less fortunate among us.
All this article really does here is help lift the idea back up a little higher on our collective Boxing Day to-do lists.
Thank you for considering this option.