DONATIONS OF BOOKS, APPRAISALS AND INCOME TAX CREDIT
Fair market value. Fair market value (FMV) is the price that personal property would sell for on the open market. It is the price that would be agreed on between a willing buyer and a willing seller, with neither being required to act, and both having reasonable knowledge of the relevant facts.
Manuscripts, autographs, diaries, and similar items. When these items are handwritten, or at least signed by famous people, they are often in demand and are valuable. The writings of unknowns also may be of value if they are of unusual historical or literary importance. Determining the value of such material is difficult. For example, there may be a great difference in value between two diaries that were kept by a famous person—one kept during childhood and the other during a later period in his or her life. The appraiser determines a value in these cases by applying knowledge and judgment to such factors as comparable sales and conditions.
In most cases I do not evaluate manuscripts, autographs, and diaries myself but partner with a qualified appraiser of this type of material.
IRS regulations on appraisals
If the value of your book donation is greater than $5,000.00 you are required to have an
independent appraisal by a qualified appraiser.
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.
Important note on fees: The minimum charge to do any tax related appraisal regardless of the number of books is $350.00. (Includes tax forms)
A qualified appraisal is an appraisal document that:
Is made, signed, and dated by a qualified appraiser (defined later) in accordance with generally accepted appraisal standards,
Meets the relevant requirements of Regulations section 1.170A-13(c)(3) and Notice 2006-96, 2006-46 I.R.B. 902 (available at
Relates to an appraisal made not earlier than 60 days before the date of contribution of the appraised property,
Does not involve a prohibited appraisal fee, and
Includes certain information (covered later).
- Prohibited appraisal fee. 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.
relation to the appraised value. Please feel free to email or
call 520-647-4831. for more information.
Although this has never happened, if you are subjected to any fines or penalty by the IRS as a direct result of errors on your appraisal or for other reasons directly related to my performance as an appraiser I will reimburse any fines or penalties.
A qualified appraisal must include the following information:
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,
The physical condition of any tangible property.
The date (or expected date) of contribution.