The conversation usually goes something like this:
You: “What charitable contributions did you make this past year?”
Your Client: “Hmmm. I donated the old couch to Goodwill sometime last fall. And in May I stopped by the Salvation Army to drop off four bags of clothes the kids outgrew.”
You: “What was the value of that?”
Your Client: “Oh I don’t know. They gave me a receipt but it was blank. They told me I should fill it in. What do you think it’s worth?”
If you’re like many CPA’s we know, this is usually right around about the time when you want to bang your head against the wall, a few thousand times. After all, the last thing you want to do—and the last thing you should do—is to be put in the awkward position of guesstimating the value of old hand me downs that you’ve never seen.
Enter iDonatedit—your new best friend. Your client’s new best friend. Everyone’s new best friend.
This genius mobile app allows your clients to clear their clutter, help the less fortunate AND claim their tax write-off without fail, every time. Once they download the app they’ll simply:
- Create a donation event and give it a name (like “ Goodwill”).
- Add a new item by selecting from a pre-populated list.
- Choose the best option to describe the item’s condition.
That’s it! It takes less than a minute and they can do it from their phone, in the car while they’re still in the donation drop off line! Boom. Done.
But wait, there’s more…
If they wish, they can also add a picture of the item(s) they donate so they can go back later and see exactly what they donated and when. The app will generate an estimate of the item’s worth and keep track of everything for them! When they’ve added all the items for that donation event, they’ll be able to see the total donation value. Then, at the end of the year, they can look back and see a grand total of all of their donations for that year and give you the magic number in a snap. It has never been easier to claim the tax benefits from donations than it is now! And get this: this awesome app is available for just $2.99 from the iTunes store.
What? You’re clients love Android and hate the iPhone? No worries.
Tell them to check out Donation Assistant from the Google Play Store. The basics are the same. Just a heads-up: This app is not quite as simple to use as iDonatedIt. It’s missing the “event” feature so they’ll have to either enter bulk donations as a miscellaneous bag or enter each individual item as a separate donation–which results in making their list of donations much longer. But where there’s a downside, there’s always an upside too, and in this case they can easily track cash donations with this app, as well. Plus it’s free! Win, win!
There are a ton of different apps and programs out there that will help both you and your clients reduce your stress level during tax season. This month we’ve scratched the surface of four of them, but we’re sure there are some you use that didn’t make our list. Please tell us about your favorites in the comments. We’re always eager to learn about new, must-have tools!