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Item Donations More Than $500 (Form 8283)

Item donations are donations of property you give to qualified charities. Item donations include things like:

  • Clothing
  • Household goods
  • Stock
  • Artwork

You can usually deduct the fair market value (FMV) of an item in the year you donate it. You're required to get an appraisal and submit it with your return if both of these are true:

  • The value of a household item you donate is more than $500 .
  • The item isn't in good condition.

If you're donating an item worth more than $500 , you need to know the basis of the property. For most items, this is the amount you paid for the donated item. This must take into account any additions or subtractions from basis while you held the property. If you received the item as a gift, your basis in the property is the donor's basis plus any gift taxes paid.

If you inherited the item, your basis will depend on the deceased's date of death. Use these rules:

  • The basis in the inherited property will usually be stepped up to the FMV on the deceased person’s date of death.
  • If the deceased died in 2010, the estate executor might have used the modified carryover basis rules. These rules were in place before the Tax Relief Act of 2010 was enacted. Under the modified carryover basis rules, the basis of the property will be the total of:
    • The deceased’s basis on the date of death
    • Any additions to basis the executor of the estate might choose to make --using the $1.3 million discretionary basis adjustment

If the total of your item donations is more than $500, you have to file an additional form with your return. It’s Form 8283: Noncash Charitable Contributions.  

This applies if:

  • You donate a single item worth more than $500 .
  • You make a series of smaller donations that total more than $500 .

Special rules apply to donations of:

  • Cars and other vehicles
  • Appreciated property, like stock
  • Property valued at more than $5,000

If you want to learn more, see:

  • Publication 561: Determining the Value of Donated Property
  • Publication 526: Charitable Contributions

 

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