Charitable Donations

Donating to charity is not only a worthwhile act of kindness, but can also be a write off on your yearly tax returns. You can contact my office to discuss the types of donations and the IRS requirements.IRS rules, Section 170(a) are mandatory for donations, and I can help you decide if a written appraisal is needed for a tax filing or not. I can also help you determine if specific items are valuable and need to be placed in other venues for sale.

Qualifications: I am an educated, qualified appraiser for many reasons, including the IRS definition of Appraiser for estate or donation appraisals, code §170(f)(11)(E)(ii)(I), stating, “The Appraiser will be treated as having earned an appraisal designation from a recognized professional appraiser organization within the meaning of if the appraisal designation is awarded on the basis of demonstrated competency in valuing the type of property for which the appraisal is performed.”

While selecting a qualified appraiser for help, be it me or anyone else, please spend the time learning about that person. Qualified Appraisers are Accredited or Certified, belong to Appraiser specific organizations, pass exams, and comply with appraisal rules, ethics, and standards. Anyone who joins an Appraiser organization as a “candidate or member” and has not completed the required education and exams, is not qualified to serve you. In other words, joining an organization in name only creates an educated or ethical perception. It’s like hiring a handy man who said he was a contractor, but has no license or formal education.

Valuation Definition: The IRS requires the use of the fair market value definition (section 1.170A-1(c)(2), meaning that all items being donated will be priced according to the secondary market, not retail. For example, a sofa purchased for $10,000 at Baer’s five year ago is not worth the original retail price of $10,000. The sofa is valued as a used piece of furniture with condition noted.

When Do You Need An Appraiser? There are many situations where a donation may be the right choice. Here are some typical examples of situations that require an assessment at minimum:

Estates: A relative or friend has passed away, and family members have taken the items that are sentimental or valuable to them. The remaining household contents are good quality, useful items that can donated so the home can be cleaned and sold.
New homes: You, the Buyer of a new home, are required to buy the furniture to secure the sale, and would like to donate some or all of the contents of the home after the closing.
Downsizing and Moving: You are downsizing to another home or an assisting living facility, and want to dispose of the belongings that will not fit in the new floor plan.
Divorces: Often post-divorce, a spouse would like to start fresh and replace the some or all of the household contents. Local charities would be happy to re-purpose your household contents.
Home Renovations / Demolition (Donations Involving Deconstruction of attached fixtures): The Habitat for Humanity Restore accepts used kitchens, kitchen appliances, lighting, bathroom vanities, toilets, mirrors, and other things that they determine are resalable. If your Client is remodeling a newly purchased home, an appraisal for a charitable donation can be documented for IRS taxes. The Habitat stores in north Palm Beach County (Riviera Beach and Greenacres) will actually deconstruct items that they have agreed to take, at no cost to you, saving you the contractor fees for removal.