Donating a cell phone is a great way to help the environment, help a great
cause, and receive a tax deduction.
With new technologies and new features on cell phones constantly changing,
the average life span of a cell phone is roughly about 18 months. At this
rate, there are over 110 million cell phones retired annually (this rate is
increasing every year). Only about 2% of all cell phones are actually
donated or recycled. This means that over 107 million unwanted cell
phones are being discarded in our landfills. A discarded cell phone can
be an environment threat with the hazardous chemicals (lead, mercury, etc)
from the rechargeable battery.
Therefore you can help the environment by donating your used cell phones,
get a tax deduction, and help a great cause because donated cell phones are:
- Used as emergency lifelines for seniors living alone
- Used as emergency link for victims of domestic abuse
- Refurbished and resold by the charities to raise funds for their cause
Please note that your used cell phone does not even need to be working for
you to donate it.
- Ensure your wireless service plan is disconnected and canceled.
Check with your wireless service provider if you are unsure.
- Erase any stored information, including your contact list, photos,
videos, files, text messages, and listing of incoming/outgoing call
- Find a charity that is a registered 501(c)(3) charity or qualified
religious organization that can lawfully accept your donation and from
which you can get a tax receipt.
- Determine the fair market value of your used cell phone. This can
be done by using the IRS Publication 526 ("Charitable
Deductions") and 561 ("Determining the Value of Donated
Property") or consulting your tax advisor. See below under
resources for pdf copies of the IRS Publications.
- Get a tax receipt from the charity with the charity's name and federal
tax ID number.
* Please note that your used phone and any associated shipping expense are
typically tax-deductible. Most charities makes no determination of the
value of your donated cell phone, and you should consult the IRS publications
or your tax advisor regarding the tax effects of your gift.
- Ensure wireless service plan is canceled
- Erase all personal information on used cell phone
- Find registered 501(c)(3) charity or qualified religious organization
- Determine fair market value of used cell phone
- Get tax receipt from charity