IRS Logo
Print - Click this link to Print this page

Fair Market Value of Charitable Donations - YouTube video text script

Here's a tip from the IRS

Hi.  My name is Eric and work for the Internal Revenue Service.

Do you make non-cash contributions to charity?  If you do you can join the millions of Americans who, every year, donate to qualified charitable organizations and, as a result, save on their taxes.

Normally, if you give used clothing or other household items to charity those items must be in good used condition or better. As a general rule, that's the only way you'll get a tax deduction for the items that you donate.  Your deduction is based on the fair market value other items that you donate.  Well, "what in the world is that" you say?  Well, basically, the fair market value is the amount that a willing buyer would pay to a willing seller for that item. And, most of the time that's a lot less than the original retail price of that item.

Keeping good records is always of good idea; so, be sure to ask the charity for a receipt and be sure to keep a list of the items that you donate.  And one final point to keep in mind:  to get a tax benefit from items that you donate you most itemize your deduction on Schedule A.

To find out more about charitable contributions go to the IRS website and download Publication 526.  So you don't forget, do it today. Download it from our very popular website

Page Last Reviewed or Updated: 18-Aug-2012