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Publication 561


Appraisals are not necessary for items of property for which you claim a deduction of $5,000 or less. (There is one exception, described next, for certain clothing and household items.) However, you generally will need an appraisal for donated property for which you claim a deduction of more than $5,000. There are exceptions. See Deductions of More Than $5,000, later.
The weight given an appraisal depends on the completeness of the report, the qualifications of the appraiser, and the appraiser's demonstrated knowledge of the donated property. An appraisal must give all the facts on which to base an intelligent judgment of the value of the property.
The appraisal will not be given much weight if:
The appraiser's opinion is never more valid than the facts on which it is based; without these facts it is simply a guess.
The opinion of a person claiming to be an expert is not binding on the Internal Revenue Service. All facts associated with the donation must be considered.

Deduction over $500 for certain clothing or household items.(p9)

You must include with your return a qualified appraisal of any single item of clothing or any household item that is not in good used condition or better, that you donated after August 17, 2006, and for which you deduct more than $500. See Household Goods and Used Clothing, earlier.

Cost of appraisals.(p9)

You may not take a charitable contribution deduction for fees you pay for appraisals of your donated property. However, these fees may qualify as a miscellaneous deduction, subject to the 2% limit, on Schedule A (Form 1040) if paid to determine the amount allowable as a charitable contribution.

Deductions of More Than $5,000(p9)

Generally, if the claimed deduction for an item or group of similar items of donated property is more than $5,000, you must get a qualified appraisal made by a qualified appraiser, and you must attach Section B of Form 8283 to your tax return. There are exceptions, discussed later. You should keep the appraiser's report with your written records. Records are discussed in Publication 526.
The phrase "similar items" means property of the same generic category or type (whether or not donated to the same donee), such as stamp collections, coin collections, lithographs, paintings, photographs, books, nonpublicly traded stock, nonpublicly traded securities other than nonpublicly traded stock, land, buildings, clothing, jewelry, furniture, electronic equipment, household appliances, toys, everyday kitchenware, china, crystal, or silver. For example, if you give books to three schools and you deduct $2,000, $2,500, and $900, respectively, your claimed deduction is more than $5,000 for these books. You must get a qualified appraisal of the books and for each school you must attach a fully completed Form 8283, Section B, to your tax return.


You do not need an appraisal if the property is:
Although an appraisal is not required for the types of property just listed, you must provide certain information about a donation of any of these types of property on Form 8283.
Publicly traded securities.(p9)
Even if your claimed deduction is more than $5,000, neither a qualified appraisal nor Section B of Form 8283 is required for publicly traded securities that are: Publicly traded securities that meet these requirements must be reported on Form 8283, Section A.
A qualified appraisal is not required, but Form 8283, Section B, Parts I and IV, must be completed, for an issue of a security that does not meet the requirements just listed but does meet these requirements:
  1. The issue is regularly traded during the computation period (defined later) in a market for which there is an "interdealer quotation system" (defined later),
  2. The issuer or agent computes the "average trading price" (defined later) for the same issue for the computation period,
  3. The average trading price and total volume of the issue during the computation period are published in a newspaper of general circulation throughout the United States, not later than the last day of the month following the end of the calendar quarter in which the computation period ends,
  4. The issuer or agent keeps books and records that list for each transaction during the computation period the date of settlement of the transaction, the name and address of the broker or dealer making the market in which the transaction occurred, and the trading price and volume, and
  5. The issuer or agent permits the Internal Revenue Service to review the books and records described in item (4) with respect to transactions during the computation period upon receiving reasonable notice.
An interdealer quotation system is any system of general circulation to brokers and dealers that regularly disseminates quotations of obligations by two or more identified brokers or dealers who are not related to either the issuer or agent who computes the average trading price of the security. A quotation sheet prepared and distributed by a broker or dealer in the regular course of business and containing only quotations of that broker or dealer is not an interdealer quotation system.
The average trading price is the average price of all transactions (weighted by volume), other than original issue or redemption transactions, conducted through a United States office of a broker or dealer who maintains a market in the issue of the security during the computation period. Bid and asked quotations are not taken into account.
The computation period is weekly during October through December and monthly during January through September. The weekly computation periods during October through December begin with the first Monday in October and end with the first Sunday following the last Monday in December.
Nonpublicly traded stock.(p9)
If you contribute nonpublicly traded stock, for which you claim a deduction of $10,000 or less, a qualified appraisal is not required. However, you must attach Form 8283 to your tax return, with Section B, Parts I and IV, completed.

Deductions of More Than $500,000(p9)

If you claim a deduction of more than $500,000 for a donation of property, you must attach a qualified appraisal of the property to your return. This does not apply to contributions of cash, inventory, publicly traded stock, or intellectual property.
If you do not attach the appraisal, you cannot deduct your contribution, unless your failure to attach the appraisal is due to reasonable cause and not to willful neglect.

Qualified Appraisal(p9)

Generally, if the claimed deduction for an item or group of similar items of donated property is more than $5,000, you must get a qualified appraisal made by a qualified appraiser. You must also complete Form 8283, Section B, and attach it to your tax return. See Deductions of More Than $5,000, earlier.
A qualified appraisal is an appraisal document that:
You must receive the qualified appraisal before the due date, including extensions, of the return on which a charitable contribution deduction is first claimed for the donated property. If the deduction is first claimed on an amended return, the qualified appraisal must be received before the date on which the amended return is filed.
Form 8283, Section B, must be attached to your tax return. Generally, you do not need to attach the qualified appraisal itself, but you should keep a copy as long as it may be relevant under the tax law. There are four exceptions.

Prohibited appraisal fee.(p10)

Generally, no part of the fee arrangement for a qualified appraisal can be based on a percentage of the appraised value of the property. If a fee arrangement is based on what is allowed as a deduction, after Internal Revenue Service examination or otherwise, it is treated as a fee based on a percentage of appraised value. However, appraisals are not disqualified when an otherwise prohibited fee is paid to a generally recognized association that regulates appraisers if:

Information included in qualified appraisal.(p10)

A qualified appraisal must include the following information:
  1. A description of the property in sufficient detail for a person who is not generally familiar with the type of property to determine that the property appraised is the property that was (or will be) contributed,
  2. The physical condition of any tangible property,
  3. The date (or expected date) of contribution,
  4. The terms of any agreement or understanding entered into (or expected to be entered into) by or on behalf of the donor that relates to the use, sale, or other disposition of the donated property, including, for example, the terms of any agreement or understanding that:
    1. Temporarily or permanently restricts a donee's right to use or dispose of the donated property,
    2. Earmarks donated property for a particular use, or
    3. Reserves to, or confers upon, anyone (other than a donee organization or an organization participating with a donee organization in cooperative fundraising) any right to the income from the donated property or to the possession of the property, including the right to vote donated securities, to acquire the property by purchase or otherwise, or to designate the person having the income, possession, or right to acquire the property,
  5. The name, address, and taxpayer identification number of the qualified appraiser and, if the appraiser is a partner, an employee, or an independent contractor engaged by a person other than the donor, the name, address, and taxpayer identification number of the partnership or the person who employs or engages the appraiser,
  6. The qualifications of the qualified appraiser who signs the appraisal, including the appraiser's background, experience, education, and any membership in professional appraisal associations,
  7. A statement that the appraisal was prepared for income tax purposes,
  8. The date (or dates) on which the property was valued,
  9. The appraised FMV on the date (or expected date) of contribution,
  10. The method of valuation used to determine FMV, such as the income approach, the comparable sales or market data approach, or the replacement cost less depreciation approach, and
  11. The specific basis for the valuation, such as any specific comparable sales transaction.
Art objects.(p10)
The following are examples of information that should be included in a description of donated property. These examples are for art objects. A similar detailed breakdown should be given for other property. Appraisals of art objects—paintings in particular—should include all of the following.
  1. A complete description of the object, indicating the:
    1. Size,
    2. Subject matter,
    3. Medium,
    4. Name of the artist (or culture), and
    5. Approximate date created.
  2. The cost, date, and manner of acquisition.
  3. A history of the item, including proof of authenticity.
  4. A professional quality image of the object.
  5. The facts on which the appraisal was based, such as:
    1. Sales or analyses of similar works by the artist, particularly on or around the valuation date.
    2. Quoted prices in dealer's catalogs of the artist's works or works of other artists of comparable stature.
    3. A record of any exhibitions at which the specific art object had been displayed.
    4. The economic state of the art market at the time of valuation, particularly with respect to the specific property.
    5. The standing of the artist in his profession and in the particular school or time period.
Number of qualified appraisals.(p10)
A separate qualified appraisal is required for each item of property that is not included in a group of similar items of property. You need only one qualified appraisal for a group of similar items of property contributed in the same tax year, but you may get separate appraisals for each item. A qualified appraisal for a group of similar items must provide all of the required information for each item of similar property. The appraiser, however, may provide a group description for selected items the total value of which is not more than $100.

Qualified appraiser.(p10)

A qualified appraiser is an individual who meets all the following requirements.
  1. The individual either:
    1. Has earned an appraisal designation from a recognized professional appraiser organization for demonstrated competency in valuing the type of property being appraised, or
    2. Has met certain minimum education and experience requirements. For real property, the appraiser must be licensed or certified for the type of property being appraised in the state in which the property is located. For property other than real property, the appraiser must have successfully completed college or professional-level coursework relevant to the property being valued, must have at least 2 years of experience in the trade or business of buying, selling, or valuing the type of property being valued, and must fully describe in the appraisal his or her qualifying education and experience.
  2. The individual regularly prepares appraisals for which he or she is paid.
  3. The individual demonstrates verifiable education and experience in valuing the type of property being appraised. To do this, the appraiser can make a declaration in the appraisal that, because of his or her background, experience, education, and membership in professional associations, he or she is qualified to make appraisals of the type of property being valued.
  4. The individual has not been prohibited from practicing before the IRS under section 330(c) of title 31 of the United States Code at any time during the 3-year period ending on the date of the appraisal.
  5. The individual is not an excluded individual.
In addition, the appraiser must complete Form 8283, Section B, Part III. More than one appraiser may appraise the property, provided that each complies with the requirements, including signing the qualified appraisal and Form 8283, Section B, Part III.
Excluded individuals.(p11)
The following persons cannot be qualified appraisers with respect to particular property.
  1. The donor of the property, or the taxpayer who claims the deduction.
  2. The donee of the property.
  3. A party to the transaction in which the donor acquired the property being appraised, unless the property is donated within 2 months of the date of acquisition and its appraised value is not more than its acquisition price. This applies to the person who sold, exchanged, or gave the property to the donor, or any person who acted as an agent for the transferor or donor in the transaction.
  4. Any person employed by any of the above persons. For example, if the donor acquired a painting from an art dealer, neither the dealer nor persons employed by the dealer can be qualified appraisers for that painting.
  5. Any person related under section 267(b) of the Internal Revenue Code to any of the above persons or married to a person related under section 267(b) to any of the above persons.
  6. An appraiser who appraises regularly for a person in (1), (2), or (3), and who does not perform a majority of his or her appraisals made during his or her tax year for other persons.
In addition, a person is not a qualified appraiser for a particular donation if the donor had knowledge of facts that would cause a reasonable person to expect the appraiser to falsely overstate the value of the donated property. For example, if the donor and the appraiser make an agreement concerning the amount at which the property will be valued, and the donor knows that amount is more than the FMV of the property, the appraiser is not a qualified appraiser for the donation.
Appraiser penalties.(p11)
An appraiser who prepares an incorrect appraisal may have to pay a penalty if:
  1. The appraiser knows or should have known the appraisal would be used in connection with a return or claim for refund, and
  2. The appraisal results in the 20% or 40% penalty for a valuation misstatement described later under Penalty.
The penalty imposed on the appraiser is the smaller of:
  1. The greater of:
    1. 10% of the underpayment due to the misstatement, or
    2. $1,000, or
  2. 125% of the gross income received for the appraisal.
In addition, any appraiser who falsely or fraudulently overstates the value of property described in a qualified appraisal of a Form 8283 that the appraiser has signed may be subject to a civil penalty for aiding and abetting as understatement of tax liability, and may have his or her appraisal disregarded.

Form 8283(p11)

Generally, if the claimed deduction for an item of donated property is more than $5,000, you must attach Form 8283 to your tax return and complete Section B.
If you do not attach Form 8283 to your return and complete Section B, the deduction will not be allowed unless your failure was due to reasonable cause, and not willful neglect, or was due to a good faith omission. If the IRS requests that you submit the form because you did not attach it to your return, you must comply within 90 days of the request or the deduction will be disallowed.
You must attach a separate Form 8283 for each item of contributed property that is not part of a group of similar items. If you contribute similar items of property to the same donee organization, you need attach only one Form 8283 for those items. If you contribute similar items of property to more than one donee organization, you must attach a separate form for each donee.

Internal Revenue Service Review of Appraisals(p11)

In reviewing an income tax return, the Service may accept the claimed value of the donated property, based on information or appraisals sent with the return, or may make its own determination of FMV. In either case, the Service may:

Responsibility of the Service.(p11)

The Service is responsible for reviewing appraisals, but it is not responsible for making them. Supporting the FMV listed on your return is your responsibility.

The Service does not accept appraisals without question.(p11)

Nor does the Service recognize any particular appraiser or organization of appraisers.

Timing of Service action.(p11)

The Service generally does not approve valuations or appraisals before the actual filing of the tax return to which the appraisal applies. In addition, the Service generally does not issue advance rulings approving or disapproving such appraisals.
For a request submitted as described earlier under Art valued at $50,000 or more, the Service will issue a Statement of Value that can be relied on by the donor of the item of art.