Appraisal Requirements for Noncash Charitable Contribution
August 26, 2021
Deduction Over $5,000
A taxpayer may not claim a charitable deduction for a noncash contribution of over $5,000 unless the taxpayer obtains a qualified written appraisal of the donated property. An exception exists if the failure is due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect. They do not apply to donations of cash, publicly traded securities, patents and other intellectual property, inventory or stock in trade, or a qualified vehicle sold by the donee organization without any significant intervening use or material improvement. For purposes of determining the threshold values for the various reporting requirements, all similar items of noncash property, whether donated to a single donee or multiple donees, are aggregated and treated as a single property donation. The appraisal rules apply in addition to the substantiation and disclosure requirements of any contribution exceeding $250. Substantiation of charitable contributions of each threshold value will be discussed later.
In addition to the qualified appraisal, the taxpayer generally must attach an appraisal summary made in Section B of Form 8283, not the appraisal itself, to the income tax return on which the deduction is first claimed or reported. The appraisal summary must be signed and dated by the donee and the qualified appraiser who prepared it. The taxpayer must maintain records regarding the cost basis and acquisition date of the contributed property. If the contribution is more than $500,000, then the qualified appraisal must be attached to the return when filed.
A separate appraisal and Form 8283 are required for each item of contributed property. However, if the taxpayer contributes similar items of property (for example, coins, stamps, books, lithographs, or photographs) during the year to the same donee that total more than $5,000, then only one Form 8283 need be filed. If the donor is a partnership or S corporation, it must obtain the qualified appraisal and provide a copy of the appraisal summary to each partner or shareholder who receives an allocation of the charitable contribution deduction with respect to the property described in the summary. The partner or shareholder must attach a copy of the appraisal summary to the tax return on which the charitable contribution is first claimed.
A qualified appraisal must be conducted by a qualified appraiser in accordance with generally accepted appraisals standards. A qualified appraisal must be signed and dated by the qualified appraiser:
no earlier than 60 days before the date of the contribution, and
no later than
the due date of the return on which the deduction for the contribution is first claimed;
the due date of the return on which the deduction for the contribution is first reported in the case of a donor that is a partnership or S corporation; or
the date on which the amended return is filed in the case of a deduction first claimed on an amended return.
Deductions of Less Than $250
If contributions of property are made and the claimed value of the property does not exceed $250, the taxpayer generally must obtain and retain a receipt from the donee charitable organization. A receipt is not required if the contribution is made in circumstances where it is impractical to obtain a receipt, such as by depositing property at a charity's unattended drop site. Even for small donations, however, the taxpayer should maintain reliable written records with respect to each item of donated property that includes the information required on a receipt.
Deductions of at Least $250 but Not More Than $500
No deduction is allowed for a noncash charitable contribution of $250 or more but not more than $500 unless the donor substantiates the contribution with a contemporaneous written acknowledgment. The acknowledgment must include the following information.
the amount of any cash contributed and a description (but not necessarily the value) of any property other than cash contributed to the donee organization,
a statement of whether or not the donee organization provides any goods or services in consideration, in whole or in part, for any of the cash or other property transferred,
if the donee organization provides any goods or services other than intangible religious benefits, a description and good faith estimate of the value of those goods or services, and
if the donee organization provides any intangible religious benefits, a statement to that effect.
Deductions of more than $500 but Not More Than $5,000
No deduction is allowed for a noncash charitable contribution of more than $500 but not more than $5,000 unless the donor substantiates the contribution with a contemporaneous written acknowledgment. In addition, Form 8283 (Section A) is required. For the case of qualified vehicles contributions, the donor must attach a copy of the acknowledgment by the donee organization to Form 8283 (Section A) for the return on which the deduction is claimed.