A Goldman Sachs investment banker, who earned $115,000 in 2002, will not be able to take all of the $55,000 charitable contribution deduction she took for that tax year -- $49,000 of which she took for donations of used clothing to a thrift store.
In an opinion issued last week, the U.S. Tax Court said that it had reservations about the valuation methods used by the banker in determining the fair market values she assigned to the donated items. According to court documents, the banker -- who described herself as an impulsive buyer who often only wore an outfit or pair of shoes once or twice before donating them to a high-end thrift store in New York -- testified that she determined the fair market value of an item and then assumed that the cost of the item was at least twice as much.
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