How to Donate Old Glasses for a Tax Deduction #FinanceFriday

Today we are sharing a cool way to donate to charity, clean the old glasses out your drawer, and help others in need. Donating old glasses is a great way to give the gift of vision and clarity to someone else who might not be able to afford a pair of eyeglasses on their own. It also happens to be a gift you can give yourself in the form of a tax deduction as long as you follow the proper procedure for claiming the eyewear deduction.

What better way to reward yourself for making the transition from eyeglasses to popular battle-tested contact lenses such as Acuvue Oasys, than by giving the gift of a your old glasses to someone in need. Not to mention, you can also earn a bit of a break on your taxes in the process.

Who Can Donate Old Glasses?

Anyone who has a pair of eyeglasses that are no longer beneficial to them can donate their old glasses for a tax deduction. While donated eyeglasses are in demand for people of all ages, children’s eyeglasses are especially coveted by charitable organizations. Children’s eyes change rapidly making the need for new eyeglass lens more frequent than the average adult.

Adults often find that making the transition to popular disposable contact lenses, such as Acuvue Oasys, is the perfect excuse to ditch their old glasses for good by donating them to charity.

How Do You Go About Donating Old Glasses for Tax Deductions?

There are actually several steps involved in this process. First and foremost it’s a good idea to check out the organization where you’re considering donating them against the IRS’s Exempt Organizations Select Check list. This list details organizations that are eligible to receive charitable donations that are tax deductible.

Organizations like Lion’s Club International depend on donations in order to help others. In fact, The Lions Recycle for Sight Program takes old eyeglasses collecting dust on bookshelves or tucked in the back of dresser drawers. Isn’t it great that you can use those same glasses to transform lives.

The IRS allows tax deductions for items like donated eyeglasses according to their fair market value. What this means is that you cannot deduct the amount you paid for the glasses. Instead, you can only deduct what they would be worth, in their current condition, to a willing buyer. In most cases, this means you can only deduct the worth of the frames since most people will need to purchase new lenses for the glasses. Many organizations have recommended values you can use, but ultimately you will have to determine a reasonable fair market value for your donation.

Getting Your Records Straight for Tax Time

The IRS requires a record of the donation before you can claim the value of the donation as a tax deduction. This record needs to include the following:

  • Name of the Organization
  • Date of the Donation
  • Location of the Donation
  • Description of the Item Donated.

Always ask for a receipt when donating eyeglasses if you plan to use the donation as a tax deduction—even if the value of the donation is less than $250. Most charitable organizations are happy to comply.

You claim the deduction for your donation when filing taxes for the year in which the donation is made.

Where do You Donate Old Glasses?

The world has become much smaller in the last few decades. What once occurred as yearly events and drives can now happen any day with a computer, smartphone, and the modern mail system. You can certainly continue to attend major events where eyeglass donations are solicited.

Many communities will host donation drives annually if not seasonally—often around the beginning of the school year. Otherwise, visit the organization you’re considering for a donation online and see what their protocols happen to be. Many of them will mail you a return receipt for your mailed donation if you include a self-addressed stamped envelope.

Whether you’ve taken the plunge to purchase Acuvue Oasys lenses or you’re simply upgrading to a new pair of specs, donating your old glasses is a great way to feel good about your purchase.


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