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atsmith
Returning Member

Can I legally write off items I acquired for free when donating them to non-profits using fair market value?

The fair market value of these items are usually about $3-5 each but in total this amount comes to ~$20k or more per year. Would I need to consult an appraiser of some kind?
2 Replies
rjs
Level 15
Level 15

Can I legally write off items I acquired for free when donating them to non-profits using fair market value?

The amount you can deduct is the fair market value or your cost, whichever is less. If your cost is zero, your deduction is zero.

 

rjs
Level 15
Level 15

Can I legally write off items I acquired for free when donating them to non-profits using fair market value?

There might be an exception if you owned the items for more than one year before you donated them, but then you would definitely need a written appraisal by a qualified appraiser. You would also have to fill out Form 8283 and have it signed by both the qualified appraiser and an appropriate official of each organization that you donated to. For the details see the following IRS references. Since it's an unusual situation, and the amount you are talking about is quite large, you might want to consult a local tax professional.


Publication 526, Charitable Contributions


Publication 561, Determining the Value of Donated Property


Form 8283


Instructions for Form 8283

 

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