Monday, December 14, 2009

What Is the Value of That Donation?

'Tis the season when many people are making donations to non-profit organizations. That means tax season is right around the corner. Donors may be wondering how to itemize their donations, particularly if they're in-kind donations such as clothing, books, or vehicles, and it's possible that the recipients are questioning whether they need to appraise the items donated. Where can you find the answers to these holiday quandaries? The IRS (Internal Revenue Service) web site is a good place to start. Take a look at these publications and forms:

  • "Determining the Value of Donated Property" (Pub. 561) One important piece of information to glean from the publication is that "[a]ppraisals are not necessary for items of property for which you claim a deduction of $5,000 or less."
Some of these documents haven't been revised in a few years. To check for the latest versions, go to the page "Charitable Organizations - Substantiating Noncash Contributions" of the IRS web site. For help navigating this web site or finding related information outside the IRS web site, see our guide to tax information.

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