For certain gifts to charity over $5,000 you must have proof of the value of the gift to claim the gift as an income tax charitable deduction. A "qualified, independent appraisal," must be prepared by a “qualified independent appraiser” to be a valid proof.
Treasury regulations define a qualified appraiser as "a person who holds himself or herself out to the public as an appraiser or performs appraisals on a regular basis, is qualified to make appraisals of the type of property being valued (as determined by the appraiser’s background, experience, education and membership, if any, in professional appraisal associations), is independent, and understands that an intentionally false or fraudulent overstatement of the value of the appraised property may subject the appraiser to civil penalties."
Regulations further define a qualified appraiser as "an individual who (1) has earned an appraisal designation from a recognized professional appraiser organization or has otherwise met minimum education and experience requirements to be determined by the IRS in regulations; (2) regularly performs appraisals for which he or she receives compensation; (3) can demonstrate verifiable education and experience in valuing the type of property for which the appraisal is being performed; (4) has not been prohibited from practicing before the IRS by the Secretary at any time during the three years preceding the conduct of the appraisal; and (5) is not excluded from being a qualified appraiser under applicable Treasury regulations."
It is the donor's responsibility to acquire the appraisal and to prepare and submit IRS Form 8283. IRS Publication 561, "Determining the Value of Donated Property," describes what types of gifts must be appraised, what constitutes a qualified appraisal, and how appraisals are evaluated by the IRS.
You should read 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/.
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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 3/2015)
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