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auntorletta-POA
New Member

As mom's POA, how do I estimate the cost of 1000+ books she and dad purchased over 90 years and were donated to charity in 2018?

I can lookup used values online, but there are no purchase receipts to calculate cost basis from. Most of the books are about religion and were published between 1920 - 2001.

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Accepted Solutions
IsabellaG
Expert Alumni

As mom's POA, how do I estimate the cost of 1000+ books she and dad purchased over 90 years and were donated to charity in 2018?

If you gave all of the books in one donation to one charity, then you would have to consider it as one collection. It is impossible to come up with the exact price of these books purchased over many years. The most that you can do is calculate a good-faith estimate of what they could have cost your parents originally. If they aren't rare books, the original cost will be higher than their used value, and you will be claiming the lower of the cost or the fair market value on your parents' return. But if these are rare or collectible books, you'd most likely have to consult an expert in this field who could provide guidance for both the value and the original prices.
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7 Replies
IsabellaG
Expert Alumni

As mom's POA, how do I estimate the cost of 1000+ books she and dad purchased over 90 years and were donated to charity in 2018?

Unless these were collector's first edition type books, you can consider that the current value is the lower figure. For household items and personal property, you don't have to report your cost basis.
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auntorletta-POA
New Member

As mom's POA, how do I estimate the cost of 1000+ books she and dad purchased over 90 years and were donated to charity in 2018?

Looking at Form 8283 Part 1, the second section, col (g) asks for cost or adjusted basis. However, there is a note that if the claimed deduction for "...an item is $500 or less, you do not have to complete columns (e), (f), (g)."

Does that mean less than $500 per book or the entire collection of books? I already have a running total "current value" nearing $3,000.
auntorletta-POA
New Member

As mom's POA, how do I estimate the cost of 1000+ books she and dad purchased over 90 years and were donated to charity in 2018?

No rare or collectible books.  Thanks for your time.
auntorletta-POA
New Member

As mom's POA, how do I estimate the cost of 1000+ books she and dad purchased over 90 years and were donated to charity in 2018?

How do I mark the answer as "Recommended"?  I don't see any buttons or links for that.
IsabellaG
Expert Alumni

As mom's POA, how do I estimate the cost of 1000+ books she and dad purchased over 90 years and were donated to charity in 2018?

I can convert my comment to an answer.
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IsabellaG
Expert Alumni

As mom's POA, how do I estimate the cost of 1000+ books she and dad purchased over 90 years and were donated to charity in 2018?

If you gave all of the books in one donation to one charity, then you would have to consider it as one collection. It is impossible to come up with the exact price of these books purchased over many years. The most that you can do is calculate a good-faith estimate of what they could have cost your parents originally. If they aren't rare books, the original cost will be higher than their used value, and you will be claiming the lower of the cost or the fair market value on your parents' return. But if these are rare or collectible books, you'd most likely have to consult an expert in this field who could provide guidance for both the value and the original prices.
**Say "Thanks" by clicking the thumb icon in a post
**Mark the post that answers your question by clicking on "Mark as Best Answer"
IsabellaG
Expert Alumni

As mom's POA, how do I estimate the cost of 1000+ books she and dad purchased over 90 years and were donated to charity in 2018?

Thank you!
**Say "Thanks" by clicking the thumb icon in a post
**Mark the post that answers your question by clicking on "Mark as Best Answer"
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