Charities welcome gifts of not only cash, but also property. These non-cash gifts can be used by the charity itself, given to the beneficiaries of the charity, or converted by the charity into cash. Some examples of non-cash charitable giving include:
Many of our clients wonder if they donate property, how much they are allowed to deduct on their tax return.
In most cases, you are allowed to deduct the fair market value of the property on the date of the contribution. This is normally the price you would pay if you wanted to buy the article on the open market. The condition of the property must be considered. Usually, if you value the gift or property over $500, an outside appraisal is suggested.
In cases where the price is not reasonably obtained, or on very high priced donations, an expert opinion may be required. For example, for art, any donation over $5,000 must have an outside appraisal. Additional details are available in IRS Publication 561.