Estimating the value of charitable donations
October 8, 2013 8:22 AM Subscribe
What rules do you use for estimating the value of things you give to charity? The organizations we donate to ask us to estimate the value for tax purposes ourselves, rather than doing it for us. I know we obviously should not use the full price that we paid for the item. I am wondering if it is okay to value items at, for example, what we might get for them off Craigslist (sometimes say 1/3 to 1/2 or in rare cases even 2/3 what we paid, depending on the item and condition), or whether we should be valuing at more like what I'd use for a yard sale price of like 1/10th or lower. Does it matter? And is there a corresponding tax consequence for the recipient organization, such that if I declare the higher value on our taxes that organization realizes some proportionate tax or penalty? If so I should probably just estimate lower in order to further benefit the charity. Thanks!
posted by onlyconnect to work & money (13 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite