For certain gifts to charity over $5,000, you must have proof of the value of the gift if you intend to claim the gift as an income tax charitable deduction. The IRS terms this a "qualified, independent appraisal," and it must follow strict requirements to be a valid proof. The appraisal must be submitted with IRS Form 8283 along with your income tax return in the year in which you claim the deduction for the gift.
It is the donor's responsibility to acquire the appraisal and to prepare and submit Form 8283. IRS Publication 561, "Determining the Value of Donated Property," describes what types of gifts must be appraised, what constitutes a qualified appraisal, who is a qualified appraiser, and how appraisals are evaluated by the IRS.
You should read IRS Publication 561 in its entirety to understand the requirements for documenting gifts to charity over $5,000. You can get this and many other IRS publications at http://www.irs.gov/.
This web page does not provide legal or financial advice, nor is it a comprehensive review of the topic. You should consult your legal and financial advisors and Clarkson University before making or planning your gift. (rev 5/2013)
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