General Instructions

Future Developments

Information about any future developments affecting Form 8283 (such as legislation enacted after we release it) will be posted at www.irs.gov/form8283.

Purpose of Form

Use Form 8283 to report information about noncash charitable contributions.

Do not use Form 8283 to report out-of-pocket expenses for volunteer work or amounts you gave by check or credit card. Treat these items as cash contributions. Also, do not use Form 8283 to figure your charitable contribution deduction. For details on how to figure the amount of the deduction, see your tax return instructions and Pub. 526, Charitable Contributions.

Who Must File

You must file Form 8283 if the amount of your deduction for all noncash gifts is more than $500. For this purpose, “amount of your deduction” means your deduction before applying any income limits that could result in a carryover. The carryover rules are explained in Pub. 526. Make any required reductions to fair market value (FMV) before you determine if you must file Form 8283. See Fair Market Value (FMV), later.

Form 8283 is filed by individuals, partnerships, and corporations.

C corporations.

C corporations, other than personal service corporations and closely held corporations, must file Form 8283 only if the amount claimed as a deduction is more than $5,000.

Partnerships and S corporations.   A partnership or S corporation that claims a deduction for noncash gifts of more than $500 must file Form 8283 with Form 1065, 1065-B, or 1120S.

   If the total deduction for any item or group of similar items is more than $5,000, the partnership or S corporation must complete Section B of Form 8283 even if the amount allocated to each partner or shareholder is $5,000 or less.

  The partnership or S corporation must give a completed copy of Form 8283 to each partner or shareholder receiving an allocation of the contribution deduction shown in Section B of the Form 8283 of the partnership or S corporation.

Partners and shareholders.   The partnership or S corporation will provide information about your share of the contribution on your Schedule K-1 (Form 1065 or 1120S). If you received a copy of Form 8283 from the partnership or S corporation, attach a copy to your tax return. Use the amount shown on your Schedule K-1, not the amount shown on the Form 8283, to figure your deduction.

  If the partnership or S corporation is not required to give you a copy of its Form 8283, combine the amount of noncash contributions shown on your Schedule K-1 with your other noncash contributions to see if you must file Form 8283. If you need to file Form 8283, you do not have to complete all the information requested in Section A for your share of the partnership's or S corporation's contributions. Complete only column (h) of line 1 with your share of the contribution and enter “From Schedule K-1 (Form 1065 or 1120S)” across columns (d)–(g).

When To File

File Form 8283 with your tax return for the year you contribute the property and first claim a deduction.

Which Sections To Complete

Form 8283 has two sections. If you must file Form 8283, you may have to complete Section A, Section B, or both, depending on the type of property donated and the amount claimed as a deduction.

Use Section A to report donations of property for which you claimed a deduction of $5,000 or less per item or group of similar items (defined later). Also use Section A to report donations of publicly traded securities. Use Section B to report donations of property for which you claimed a deduction of more than $5,000 per item or group of similar items.

In figuring whether your deduction for a group of similar items was more than $5,000, consider all items in the group, even if items in the group were donated to more than one donee organization. However, you must file a separate Form 8283, Section B, for each donee organization.

Example.

You claimed a deduction of $2,000 for books you gave to College A, $2,500 for books you gave to College B, and $900 for books you gave to College C. You must report these donations in Section B because the total deduction was more than $5,000. You must file a separate Form 8283, Section B, for the donation to each of the three colleges.

Section A.   Include in Section A only the following items.
  1. Items (or groups of similar items as defined later) for which you claimed a deduction of $5,000 or less per item (or group of similar items).

  2. The following publicly traded securities even if the deduction is more than $5,000:

    1. Securities listed on an exchange in which quotations are published daily,

    2. Securities regularly traded in national or regional over-the-counter markets for which published quotations are available, or

    3. Securities that are shares of a mutual fund for which quotations are published on a daily basis in a newspaper of general circulation throughout the United States.

Section B.   Include in Section B only items (or groups of similar items) for which you claimed a deduction of more than $5,000. Do not include publicly traded securities reportable in Section A. With certain exceptions, items reportable in Section B require a written appraisal by a qualified appraiser. You must file a separate Form 8283, Section B, for each donee organization and each item of property (or group of similar items).

Similar Items of Property

Similar items of property are items of the same generic category or type, such as coin collections, paintings, books, clothing, jewelry, nonpublicly traded stock, land, or buildings.

Example.

You claimed a deduction of $400 for clothing, $7,000 for publicly traded securities (quotations published daily), and $6,000 for a collection of 15 books ($400 each). Report the clothing and securities in Section A and the books (a group of similar items) in Section B.

Special Rule for Certain C Corporations

A special rule applies for deductions taken by certain C corporations under section 170(e)(3) or (4) for certain contributions of inventory or scientific equipment.

To determine if you must file Form 8283 or which section to complete, use the difference between the amount you claimed as a deduction and the amount you would have claimed as cost of goods sold (COGS) had you sold the property instead. This rule is only for purposes of Form 8283. It does not change the amount or method of figuring your contribution deduction.

If you do not have to file Form 8283 because of this rule, you must attach a statement to your tax return (similar to the one in the example below). Also, attach a statement if you must complete Section A, instead of Section B, because of this rule.

Example.

You donated clothing from your inventory for the care of the needy. The clothing cost you $5,000 and your claimed charitable deduction is $8,000. Complete Section A instead of Section B because the difference between the amount you claimed as a charitable deduction and the amount that would have been your COGS deduction is $3,000 ($8,000 – $5,000). Attach a statement to Form 8283 similar to the following:

Form 8283—Inventory
Contribution deduction $8,000  
COGS (if sold, not donated) – 5,000  
For Form 8283 filing purposes =$3,000  

Fair Market Value (FMV)

Although the amount of your deduction determines if you have to file Form 8283, you also need to have information about the FMV of your contribution to complete the form.

FMV is the price a willing, knowledgeable buyer would pay a willing, knowledgeable seller when neither has to buy or sell.

You may not always be able to deduct the FMV of your contribution. Depending on the type of property donated, you may have to reduce the FMV to figure the deductible amount, as explained next.

Reductions to FMV.   The amount of the reduction (if any) depends on whether the property is ordinary income property or capital gain property. Attach a statement to your tax return showing how you figured the reduction.

Ordinary income property.

Ordinary income property is property that would result in ordinary income or short-term capital gain if it were sold at its FMV on the date it was contributed. Examples of ordinary income property are inventory, works of art created by the donor, and capital assets held for 1 year or less. The deduction for a gift of ordinary income property is limited to the FMV minus the amount that would be ordinary income or short-term capital gain if the property were sold.

Capital gain property.

Capital gain property is property that would result in long-term capital gain if it were sold at its FMV on the date it was contributed. For purposes of figuring your charitable contribution, capital gain property also includes certain real property and depreciable property used in your trade or business and, generally, held more than 1 year. However, to the extent of any gain from the property that must be recaptured as ordinary income under section 1245, section 1250, or any other Code provision, the property is treated as ordinary income property.

  You usually may deduct gifts of capital gain property at their FMV. However, you must reduce the FMV by the amount of any appreciation if any of the following apply.
  • The capital gain property is contributed to certain private nonoperating foundations. This rule does not apply to qualified appreciated stock.

  • You choose the 50% limit instead of the special 30% limit for capital gain property.

  • The contributed property is intellectual property (as defined later).

  • The contributed property is certain taxidermy property.

  • The contributed property is tangible personal property that is put to an unrelated use (as defined in Pub. 526) by the charity.

  • The contributed property is certain tangible personal property with a claimed value of more than $5,000 and is sold, exchanged, or otherwise disposed of by the charity during the year in which you made the contribution, and the charity has not made the required certification of exempt use (such as on Form 8282, Part IV).

Qualified conservation contribution.   A qualified conservation contribution is a donation of a qualified real property interest, such as an easement, exclusively for certain conservation purposes. The donee must be a qualified organization as defined in section 170(h)(3) and must have the resources to be able to monitor and enforce the conservation easement or other conservation restrictions. To enable the organization to do this, you must give it documents, such as maps and photographs, that establish the condition of the property at the time of the gift.

  If the donation has no material effect on the real property's FMV, or enhances rather than reduces its FMV, no deduction is allowable. For example, little or no deduction may be allowed if the property's use is already restricted, such as by zoning or other law or contract, and the donation does not further restrict how the property can be used.

  The FMV of a conservation easement cannot be determined by applying a standard percentage to the FMV of the underlying property. The best evidence of the FMV of an easement is the sales price of a comparable easement. If there are no comparable sales, the before and after method may be used.

  Attach a statement that:
  • Identifies the conservation purposes furthered by your donation,

  • Shows, if before and after valuation is used, the FMV of the underlying property before and after the gift,

  • States whether you made the donation in order to get a permit or other approval from a local or other governing authority and whether the donation was required by a contract, and

  • If you or a related person has any interest in other property nearby, describes that interest.

  If an appraisal is required, it must include the method of valuation (such as the income approach or the market data approach) and the specific basis for the valuation (such as specific comparable sales transactions).

Easements on buildings in historic districts.

You cannot claim a deduction for this type of contribution unless the contributed interest includes restrictions preserving the entire exterior of the building (including front, sides, rear, and height) and prohibiting any change to the exterior of the building inconsistent with its historical character. If you claim a deduction for this type of contribution, you must include with your return:

  • A signed copy of a qualified appraisal,

  • Photographs of the entire exterior of the building, and

  • A description of all restrictions on the development of the building. The description of the restrictions can be made by attaching a copy of the easement deed.

If you donate this type of property and claim a deduction of more than $10,000, your deduction will not be allowed unless you pay a $500 filing fee. See Form 8283-V and its instructions.

  For more information about qualified conservation contributions, see Pub. 526 and Pub. 561, Determining the Value of Donated Property. Also see section 170(h), Regulations section 1.170A-14, and Notice 2004-41. Notice 2004-41, 2004-28 I.R.B. 31, is available at  
www.irs.gov/irb/2004-28_IRB/ar09.html.

Intellectual property.   The FMV of intellectual property must be reduced to figure the amount of your deduction, as explained earlier. Intellectual property means a patent, copyright (other than a copyright described in section 1221(a)(3) or 1231(b)(1)(C)), trademark, trade name, trade secret, know-how, software (other than software described in section 197(e)(3)(A)(i)), or similar property, or applications or registrations of such property.

  However, you may be able to claim additional charitable contribution deductions in the year of the contribution and later years based on a percentage of the donee's net income, if any, from the property. The amount of the donee's net income from the property will be reported to you on Form 8899, Notice of Income From Donated Intellectual Property. See Pub. 526 for details.

Clothing and household items.    The FMV of used household items and clothing is usually much lower than when new. A good measure of value might be the price that buyers of these used items actually pay in consignment or thrift shops. You can also review classified ads in the newspaper or on the Internet to see what similar products sell for.

  You cannot claim a deduction for clothing or household items you donate unless the clothing or household items are in good used condition or better. However, you can claim a deduction for a contribution of an item of clothing or household item that is not in good used condition or better if you deduct more than $500 for it and include a qualified appraisal of it with your return.

Qualified Vehicle Donations

A qualified vehicle is any motor vehicle manufactured primarily for use on public streets, roads, and highways; a boat; or an airplane. However, property held by the donor primarily for sale to customers, such as inventory of a car dealer, is not a qualified vehicle.

If you donate a qualified vehicle with a claimed value of more than $500, you cannot claim a deduction unless you attach to your return a copy of the contemporaneous written acknowledgment you received from the donee organization. The donee organization may use Copy B of Form 1098-C as the acknowledgment. An acknowledgment is considered contemporaneous if the donee organization furnishes it to you no later than 30 days after the:

  • Date of the sale, if the donee organization sold the vehicle in an arm's length transaction to an unrelated party, or

  • Date of the contribution, if the donee organization will not sell the vehicle before completion of a material improvement or significant intervening use, or the donee organization will give or sell the vehicle to a needy individual for a price significantly below FMV to directly further the organization's charitable purpose of relieving the poor and distressed or underprivileged who need a means of transportation.

For a donated vehicle with a claimed value of more than $500, you can deduct the smaller of the vehicle's FMV on the date of the contribution or the gross proceeds received from the sale of the vehicle, unless an exception applies as explained below. Form 1098-C (or other acknowledgment) will show the gross proceeds from the sale if no exception applies. If the FMV of the vehicle was more than your cost or other basis, you may have to reduce the FMV to figure the deductible amount, as described under Reductions to FMV, earlier.

If any of the following exceptions apply, your deduction is not limited to the gross proceeds received from the sale. Instead, you generally can deduct the vehicle's FMV on the date of the contribution if the donee organization:

  • Makes a significant intervening use of the vehicle before transferring it,

  • Makes a material improvement to the vehicle before transferring it, or

  • Gives or sells the vehicle to a needy individual for a price significantly below FMV to directly further the organization's charitable purpose of relieving the poor and distressed or underprivileged who need a means of transportation.

Form 1098-C (or other acknowledgment) will show if any of these exceptions apply. If the FMV of the vehicle was more than your cost or other basis, you may have to reduce the FMV to figure the deductible amount, as described under Reductions to FMV, earlier.

Determining FMV.   A used car guide may be a good starting point for finding the FMV of your vehicle. These guides, published by commercial firms and trade organizations, contain vehicle sale prices for recent model years. The guides are sometimes available from public libraries or from a loan officer at a bank, credit union, or finance company. You can also find used car pricing information on the Internet.

  An acceptable measure of the FMV of a donated vehicle is an amount not in excess of the price listed in a used vehicle pricing guide for a private party sale of a similar vehicle. However, the FMV may be less than that amount if the vehicle has engine trouble, body damage, high mileage, or any type of excessive wear. The FMV of a donated vehicle is the same as the price listed in a used vehicle pricing guide for a private party sale only if the guide lists a sales price for a vehicle that is the same make, model, and year, sold in the same area, in the same condition, with the same or similar options or accessories, and with the same or similar warranties as the donated vehicle.

Example.

Neal donates his car, which he bought new in 2008 for $20,000. A used vehicle pricing guide shows the FMV for his car is $9,000. Neal receives a Form 1098-C showing the car was sold for $7,000. Neal can deduct $7,000 and must attach Form 1098-C to his return.

More information.   For details, see Pub. 526 or Notice 2005-44. Notice 2005-44, 2005-25 I.R.B. 1287, is available at www.irs.gov/irb/2005-25_IRB/ar09.html.

Additional Information

You may want to see Pub. 526 and Pub. 561. If you contributed depreciable property, see Pub. 544, Sales and Other Disposition of Assets.


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