Determining Fair Market Value for Donations

I am the director of a non profit school for students with autism. We recently received truckloads of furniture and so forth from a local business and I need to write their donation form. Do you have a place on here where I can look up an estimated value of these items? Thanks!


By Amy from PA

April 5, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

Hello, Amy. I did not read MCW's links but let me share with you my personal experience as a public service, non profit agency, employee for assigning "values" of donated materials . Don't do it without the accountable advice of a tax professional.

As a receiver of donations, your responsibility is to acknowledge the receipt of such and not necessarily to assign a value to such, after all, it is the giver - not the receiver, in most donation collection ventures that gets the tax breaks. And let's face it, unless it is cold hard cash, the value is subjective at best.

We put the responsibility of value assessment on the giver, leaving the value amount blank and stating that the value assessed was that of the giver, i.e.: the one who got the tax break.

This was back in the 80's and 90's, so do research the current day of legalities on this matter before taking my word as gospel, just take care to not get caught up in what could come back to haunt you via an IRS audit issue. Take care and proceed smartly. Best of wishes.

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April 6, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

The company donating must have an appraisal if the combined value is over $5,000. There is a IRS publication 561 about donations and fair market values. There is also a Form 8283 they must have to claim the donation. It is their responsibilty not yours. You can list what they give you and look for the "used" prices items in good condition or better would fetch on the local market. Personally, if they want the deduction they should talk to their tax adviser for the advice. Good luck...check out IRS website - I googled IRS fair market value donations and got lots of info....

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