This section contains information on determining the FMV of ordinary kinds of donated property. For information on appraisals, see Appraisals, later. taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP086d6365
The FMV of used household goods, such as furniture, appliances, and linens, is usually much lower than the price paid when new. Such used property may have little or no market value because of its worn condition. It may be out of style or no longer useful.
You cannot take a deduction for household goods donated after August 17, 2006, unless they are in good used condition or better. A household good that is not in good used condition or better for which you take a deduction of more than $500 requires a qualified appraisal. See Deduction over $500 for certain clothing or household items, later.
If the property is valuable because it is old or unique, see the discussion under Paintings, Antiques, and Other Objects of Art.taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP4d1ecfc9
Used clothing and other personal items are usually worth far less than the price you paid for them. Valuation of items of clothing does not lend itself to fixed formulas or methods.
The price that buyers of used items actually pay in used clothing stores, such as consignment or thrift shops, is an indication of the value.
You cannot take a deduction for clothing donated after August 17, 2006, unless it is in good used condition or better. An item of clothing that is not in good used condition or better for which you take a deduction of more than $500 requires a qualified appraisal. See Deduction over $500 for certain clothing or household items, later.
For valuable furs or very expensive gowns, a Form 8283 may have to be sent with your tax return.taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP01e7ac86
Jewelry and gems are of such a specialized nature that it is almost always necessary to get an appraisal by a specialized jewelry appraiser. The appraisal should describe, among other things, the style of the jewelry, the cut and setting of the gem, and whether it is now in fashion. If not in fashion, the possibility of having the property redesigned, recut, or reset should be reported in the appraisal. The stone's coloring, weight, cut, brilliance, and flaws should be reported and analyzed. Sentimental personal value has no effect on FMV. But if the jewelry was owned by a famous person, its value might increase. taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP7c7bcdf8
Your deduction for contributions of paintings, antiques, and other objects of art, should be supported by a written appraisal from a qualified and reputable source, unless the deduction is $5,000 or less. Examples of information that should be included in appraisals of art objects—paintings in particular—are found later under Qualified Appraisal. taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP336ca60b
If you claim a deduction of $20,000 or more for donations of art, you must attach a complete copy of the signed appraisal to your return. For individual objects valued at $20,000 or more, a photograph of a size and quality fully showing the object, preferably an 8 x 10 inch color photograph or a color transparency no smaller than 4 x 5 inches, must be provided upon request. taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP6ae0cc60
If you donate an item of art that has been appraised at $50,000 or more, you can request a Statement of Value for that item from the IRS. You must request the statement before filing the tax return that reports the donation. Your request must include the following.
- A copy of a qualified appraisal of the item. See Qualified Appraisal, later.
- A $2,500 check or money order payable to the Internal Revenue Service for the user fee that applies to your request regarding one, two, or three items of art. Add $250 for each item in excess of three.
- A completed Form 8283, Section B.
- The location of the IRS territory that has examination responsibility for your return.
If your request lacks essential information, you will be notified and given 30 days to provide the missing information.
Send your request to: taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP7eb8082b
Internal Revenue Service
Attention: Art Appraisal (C:AP:ART)
P.O. Box 27720
Washington, DC 20038
You can withdraw your request for a Statement of Value at any time before it is issued. However, the IRS will not refund the user fee if you do.
If the IRS declines to issue a Statement of Value in the interest of efficient tax administration, the IRS will refund the user fee. taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP5ffbd1f3
The authenticity of the donated art must be determined by the appraiser.taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP785338a9
Important items in the valuation of antiques and art are physical condition and extent of restoration. These have a significant effect on the value and must be fully reported in an appraisal. An antique in damaged condition, or lacking the "original brasses," may be worth much less than a similar piece in excellent condition.taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP7917b767
More weight will usually be given to an appraisal prepared by an individual specializing in the kind and price range of the art being appraised. Certain art dealers or appraisers specialize, for example, in old masters, modern art, bronze sculpture, etc. Their opinions on the authenticity and desirability of such art would usually be given more weight than the opinions of more generalized art dealers or appraisers. They can report more recent comparable sales to support their opinion.
To identify and locate experts on unique, specialized items or collections, you may wish to use the current Official Museum Directory of the American Association of Museums. It lists museums both by state and by category.
To help you locate a qualified appraiser for your donation, you may wish to ask an art historian at a nearby college or the director or curator of a local museum. The Yellow Pages often list specialized art and antique dealers, auctioneers, and art appraisers. You may be able to find a qualified appraiser on the Internet. You may also contact associations of dealers for guidance.taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP34c08f8e
Since many kinds of hobby collections may be the subject of a charitable donation, it is not possible to discuss all of the possible collectibles in this publication. Most common are rare books, autographs, sports memorabilia, dolls, manuscripts, stamps, coins, guns, phonograph records, and natural history items. Many of the elements of valuation that apply to paintings and other objects of art, discussed earlier, also apply to miscellaneous collections. taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP28cf3fc8
Publications available to help you determine the value of many kinds of collections include catalogs, dealers' price lists, and specialized hobby periodicals. When using one of these price guides, you must use the current edition at the date of contribution. However, these sources are not always reliable indicators of FMV and should be supported by other evidence.
For example, a dealer may sell an item for much less than is shown on a price list, particularly after the item has remained unsold for a long time. The price an item sold for in an auction may have been the result of a rigged sale or a mere bidding duel. The appraiser must analyze the reference material, and recognize and make adjustments for misleading entries. If you are donating a valuable collection, you should get an appraisal. If your donation appears to be of little value, you may be able to make a satisfactory valuation using reference materials available at a state, city, college, or museum library.taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP41e3d4cd
Most libraries have catalogs or other books that report the publisher's estimate of values. Generally, two price levels are shown for each stamp: the price postmarked and the price not postmarked. Stamp dealers generally know the value of their merchandise and are able to prepare satisfactory appraisals of valuable collections.taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP32854ee4
Many catalogs and other reference materials show the writer's or publisher's opinion of the value of coins on or near the date of the publication. Like many other collectors' items, the value of a coin depends on the demand for it, its age, and its rarity. Another important factor is the coin's condition. For example, there is a great difference in the value of a coin that is in mint condition and a similar coin that is only in good condition.
Catalogs usually establish a category for coins, based on their physical condition—mint or uncirculated, extremely fine, very fine, fine, very good, good, fair, or poor—with a different valuation for each category.taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP3255e577
The value of books is usually determined by selecting comparable sales and adjusting the prices according to the differences between the comparable sales and the item being evaluated. This is difficult to do and, except for a collection of little value, should be done by a specialized appraiser. Within the general category of literary property, there are dealers who specialize in certain areas, such as Americana, foreign imports, Bibles, and scientific books.taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP50272680
If the collection you are donating is of modest value, not requiring a written appraisal, the following information may help you in determining the FMV.
A book that is very old, or very rare, is not necessarily valuable. There are many books that are very old or rare, but that have little or no market value.taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP557c58f5
The condition of a book may have a great influence on its value. Collectors are interested in items that are in fine, or at least good, condition. When a book has a missing page, a loose binding, tears, stains, or is otherwise in poor condition, its value is greatly lowered.taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP23761015
Some other factors in the valuation of a book are the kind of binding (leather, cloth, paper), page edges, and illustrations (drawings and photographs). Collectors usually want first editions of books. However, because of changes or additions, other editions are sometimes worth as much as, or more than, the first edition.taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP10f60963
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.taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP6a99ff3f
Signatures, or sets of signatures, that were cut from letters or other papers usually have little or no value. But complete sets of the signatures of U.S. presidents are in demand.taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP54603c74
If you donate a car, a boat, or an aircraft to a charitable organization, its FMV must be determined.
Certain commercial firms and trade organizations publish monthly or seasonal guides for different regions of the country, containing complete dealer sale prices or dealer average prices for recent model years. Prices are reported for each make, model, and year. These guides also provide estimates for adjusting for unusual equipment, unusual mileage, and physical condition. The prices are not "official," and these publications are not considered an appraisal of any specific donated property. But they do provide clues for making an appraisal and suggest relative prices for comparison with current sales and offerings in your area.
These publications are sometimes available from public libraries or at a bank, credit union, or finance company. You can also find pricing information about used cars on the Internet.
An acceptable measure of the FMV of a donated car, boat, or airplane is an amount not in excess of the price listed in a used vehicle pricing guide for a private party sale, not the dealer retail value, of a similar vehicle. However, the FMV may be less than that amount if the vehicle has engine trouble, body damage, high mileage, or any type of excessive wear. The FMV of a donated vehicle is the same as the price listed in a used vehicle pricing guide for a private party sale only if the guide lists a sales price for a vehicle that is the same make, model, and year, sold in the same area, in the same condition, with the same or similar options or accessories, and with the same or similar warranties as the donated vehicle. taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP6fc6f607
You donate a used car in poor condition to a local high school for use by students studying car repair. A used car guide shows the dealer retail value for this type of car in poor condition is $1,600. However, the guide shows the price for a private party sale of the car is only $750. The FMV of the car is considered to be no more than $750.taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP2b20ce51
Except for inexpensive small boats, the valuation of boats should be based on an appraisal by a marine surveyor because the physical condition is so critical to the value.taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP2f65c26f
Your deduction for a donated car, boat, or airplane generally is limited to the gross proceeds from its sale by the qualified organization. This rule applies if the claimed value of the donated vehicle is more than $500. In certain cases, you can deduct the vehicle's FMV. For details, see Publication 526.taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP4b0f69a6
If you donate any inventory item to a charitable organization, the amount of your deductible contribution generally is the FMV of the item, minus any gain you would have realized if you had sold the item at its FMV on the date of the gift. For more information, see Publication 526. taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP036d89d6
To determine the FMV of a patent, you must take into account, among other factors:
- Whether the patented technology has been made obsolete by other technology;
- Any restrictions on the donee's use of, or ability to transfer, the patented technology; and
- The length of time remaining before the patent expires.
However, your deduction for a donation of a patent or other intellectual property is its FMV, minus any gain you would have realized if you had sold the property at its FMV on the date of the gift. Generally, this means your deduction is the lesser of the property's FMV or its basis. For details, see Publication 526.taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP5cb9d064
The value of stocks and bonds is the FMV of a share or bond on the valuation date. See Date of contribution, earlier, under What Is Fair Market Value (FMV). taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP01565e5c
If there is an active market for the contributed stocks or bonds on a stock exchange, in an over-the-counter market, or elsewhere, the FMV of each share or bond is the average price between the highest and lowest quoted selling prices on the valuation date. For example, if the highest selling price for a share was $11, and the lowest $9, the average price is $10. You get the average price by adding $11 and $9 and dividing the sum by 2. taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP528ad106
If there were no sales on the valuation date, but there were sales within a reasonable period before and after the valuation date, you determine FMV by taking the average price between the highest and lowest sales prices on the nearest date before and on the nearest date after the valuation date. Then you weight these averages in inverse order by the respective number of trading days between the selling dates and the valuation date. taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP040746d1
On the day you gave stock to a qualified organization, there were no sales of the stock. Sales of the stock nearest the valuation date took place two trading days before the valuation date at an average selling price of $10 and three trading days after the valuation date at an average selling price of $15. The FMV on the valuation date was $12, figured as follows:
|[(3 x $10)||+||(2 x $15)]||÷||5||=||$12|
Stocks or bonds listed on more than one stock exchange are valued based on the prices of the exchange on which they are principally dealt. This applies if these prices are published in a generally available listing or publication of general circulation. If this is not applicable, and the stocks or bonds are reported on a composite listing of combined exchanges in a publication of general circulation, use the composite list. See also Unavailable prices or closely held corporation, later. taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP78a4173a
If there were no sales within a reasonable period before and after the valuation date, the FMV is the average price between the bona fide bid and asked prices on the valuation date. taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP3eb9da9f
Although there were no sales of Blue Corporation stock on the valuation date, bona fide bid and asked prices were available on that date of $14 and $16, respectively. The FMV is $15, the average price between the bid and asked prices.taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP5df2609a
If there were no prices available on the valuation date, you determine FMV by taking the average prices between the bona fide bid and asked prices on the closest trading date before and after the valuation date. Both dates must be within a reasonable period. Then you weight these averages in inverse order by the respective number of trading days between the bid and asked dates and the valuation date. taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP7374a536
On the day you gave stock to a qualified organization, no prices were available. Bona fide bid and asked prices 3 days before the valuation date were $10 and 2 days after the valuation date were $15. The FMV on the valuation date is $13, figured as follows:
|[(2 x $10)||+||(3 x $15)]||÷||5||=||$13|
If no selling prices or bona fide bid and asked prices are available on a date within a reasonable period before the valuation date, but are available on a date within a reasonable period after the valuation date, or vice versa, then the average price between the highest and lowest of such available prices may be treated as the value. taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP6ee07bd8
When a large block of stock is put on the market, it may lower the selling price of the stock if the supply is greater than the demand. On the other hand, market forces may exist that will afford higher prices for large blocks of stock. Because of the many factors to be considered, determining the value of large blocks of stock usually requires the help of experts specializing in underwriting large quantities of securities, or in trading in the securities of the industry of which the particular company is a part. taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP29d0a0c9
If selling prices or bid and asked prices are not available, or if securities of a closely held corporation are involved, determine the FMV by considering the following factors.
- For bonds, the soundness of the security, the interest yield, the date of maturity, and other relevant factors.
- For shares of stock, the company's net worth, prospective earning power and dividend-paying capacity, and other relevant factors.
Other relevant factors include:
- The nature and history of the business, especially its recent history,
- The goodwill of the business,
- The economic outlook in the particular industry,
- The company's position in the industry, its competitors, and its management, and
- The value of securities of corporations engaged in the same or similar business.
For preferred stock, the most important factors are its yield, dividend coverage, and protection of its liquidation preference.
You should keep complete financial and other information on which the valuation is based. This includes copies of reports of examinations of the company made by accountants, engineers, or any technical experts on or close to the valuation date. taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP7e57bd11
Some classes of stock cannot be traded publicly because of restrictions imposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, or by the corporate charter or a trust agreement. These restricted securities usually trade at a discount in relation to freely traded securities.
To arrive at the FMV of restricted securities, factors that you must consider include the resale provisions found in the restriction agreements, the relative negotiating strengths of the buyer and seller, and the market experience of freely traded securities of the same class as the restricted securities. taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP2debd1d9
Because each piece of real estate is unique and its valuation is complicated, a detailed appraisal by a professional appraiser is necessary.
The appraiser must be thoroughly trained in the application of appraisal principles and theory. In some instances the opinions of equally qualified appraisers may carry unequal weight, such as when one appraiser has a better knowledge of local conditions.
The appraisal report must contain a complete description of the property, such as street address, legal description, and lot and block number, as well as physical features, condition, and dimensions. The use to which the property is put, zoning and permitted uses, and its potential use for other higher and better uses are also relevant.
In general, there are three main approaches to the valuation of real estate. An appraisal may require the combined use of two or three methods rather than one method only.taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP50bdfd28
The comparable sales method compares the donated property with several similar properties that have been sold. The selling prices, after adjustments for differences in date of sale, size, condition, and location, would then indicate the estimated FMV of the donated property.
If the comparable sales method is used to determine the value of unimproved real property (land without significant buildings, structures, or any other improvements that add to its value), the appraiser should consider the following factors when comparing the potential comparable property and the donated property:
- Location, size, and zoning or use restrictions,
- Accessibility and road frontage, and available utilities and water rights,
- Riparian rights (right of access to and use of the water by owners of land on the bank of a river) and existing easements, rights-of-way, leases, etc.,
- Soil characteristics, vegetative cover, and status of mineral rights, and
- Other factors affecting value.
For each comparable sale, the appraisal must include the names of the buyer and seller, the deed book and page number, the date of sale and selling price, a property description, the amount and terms of mortgages, property surveys, the assessed value, the tax rate, and the assessor's appraised FMV.
The comparable selling prices must be adjusted to account for differences between the sale property and the donated property. Because differences of opinion may arise between appraisers as to the degree of comparability and the amount of the adjustment considered necessary for comparison purposes, an appraiser should document each item of adjustment.
Only comparable sales having the least adjustments in terms of items and/or total dollar adjustments should be considered as comparable to the donated property. taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP4a3a0c14
This method capitalizes the net income from the property at a rate that represents a fair return on the particular investment at the particular time, considering the risks involved. The key elements are the determination of the income to be capitalized and the rate of capitalization. taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP1ad14eb2
This method, used alone, usually does not result in a determination of FMV. Instead, it generally tends to set the upper limit of value, particularly in periods of rising costs, because it is reasonable to assume that an informed buyer will not pay more for the real estate than it would cost to reproduce a similar property. Of course, this reasoning does not apply if a similar property cannot be created because of location, unusual construction, or some other reason. Generally, this method serves to support the value determined from other methods. When the replacement cost method is applied to improved realty, the land and improvements are valued separately.
The replacement cost of a building is figured by considering the materials, the quality of workmanship, and the number of square feet or cubic feet in the building. This cost represents the total cost of labor and material, overhead, and profit. After the replacement cost has been figured, consideration must be given to the following factors:
- Physical deterioration—the wear and tear on the building itself,
- Functional obsolescence—usually in older buildings with, for example, inadequate lighting, plumbing, or heating, small rooms, or a poor floor plan, and
- Economic obsolescence—outside forces causing the whole area to become less desirable.
The FMV of any interest in a business, whether a sole proprietorship or a partnership, is the amount that a willing buyer would pay for the interest to a willing seller after consideration of all relevant factors. The relevant factors to be considered in valuing the business are:
- The FMV of the assets of the business,
- The demonstrated earnings capacity of the business, based on a review of past and current earnings, and
- The other factors used in evaluating corporate stock, if they apply.
The value of the goodwill of the business should also be taken into consideration. You should keep complete financial and other information on which you base the valuation. This includes copies of reports of examinations of the business made by accountants, engineers, or any technical experts on or close to the valuation date. taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP78bc8fa0
The value of these kinds of property is their present value, except in the case of annuities under contracts issued by companies regularly engaged in their sale. The valuation of these commercial annuity contracts and of insurance policies is discussed later under Certain Life Insurance and Annuity Contracts.
To determine present value, you must know the applicable interest rate and use actuarial tables.taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP5ac443d6
The applicable interest rate varies. It is announced monthly in a news release and published in the Internal Revenue Bulletin as a Revenue Ruling. The interest rate to use is under the heading "Rate Under Section 7520" for a given month and year. You can call the IRS office at 1-800-829-1040 to obtain this rate. taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP6c756e33
You need to refer to actuarial tables to determine a qualified interest in the form of an annuity, any interest for life or a term of years, or any remainder interest to a charitable organization.
Use the valuation tables set forth in IRS Publications 1457, Actuarial Values (Book Aleph), and 1458, Actuarial Values (Book Beth). Both of these publications provide tables containing actuarial factors to be used in determining the present value of an annuity, an interest for life or for a term of years, or a remainder or reversionary interest. For qualified charitable transfers, you can use the factor for the month in which you made the contribution or for either of the 2 months preceding that month.
Publication 1457 also contains actuarial factors for computing the value of a remainder interest in a charitable remainder annuity trust and a pooled income fund. Publication 1458 contains the factors for valuing the remainder interest in a charitable remainder unitrust. You can download Publications 1457 and 1458 from www.irs.gov
. In addition, they are available for purchase via the website of the U. S. Government Printing Office, by phone at (202) 512-1800, or by mail from the: Superintendent of Documents
P.O. Box 371954
Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954
Tables containing actuarial factors for transfers to pooled income funds may also be found in Income Tax Regulation 1.642(c)-6(e)(6), transfers to charitable remainder unitrusts in Regulation 1.664-4(e), and other transfers in Regulation 20.2031-7(d)(6).
If you need a special factor for an actual transaction, you can request a letter ruling. Be sure to include the date of birth of each person the duration of whose life may affect the value of the interest. Also include copies of the relevant instruments. IRS charges a user fee for providing special factors.
For more information about requesting a ruling, see Revenue Procedure 2006-1 (or annual update), 2006-1 I.R.B. 1. Revenue Procedure 2006-1 is available at www.irs.gov/irb/2006-01_IRB/ar06.html
For information on the circumstances under which a charitable deduction may be allowed for the donation of a partial interest in property not in trust, see Partial Interest in Property Not in Trust, later. taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP7e264e48
The value of an annuity contract or a life insurance policy issued by a company regularly engaged in the sale of such contracts or policies is the amount that company would charge for a comparable contract.
But if the donee of a life insurance policy may reasonably be expected to cash the policy rather than hold it as an investment, then the FMV is the cash surrender value rather than the replacement cost.
If an annuity is payable under a combination annuity contract and life insurance policy (for example, a retirement income policy with a death benefit) and there was no insurance element when it was transferred to the charity, the policy is treated as an annuity contract. taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP36b0ec7e
Generally, no deduction is allowed for a charitable contribution, not made in trust, of less than your entire interest in property. However, this does not apply to a transfer of less than your entire interest if it is a transfer of:
- A remainder interest in your personal residence or farm,
- An undivided part of your entire interest in property, or
- A qualified conservation contribution.
The amount of the deduction for a donation of a remainder interest in real property is the FMV of the remainder interest at the time of the contribution. To determine this value, you must know the FMV of the property on the date of the contribution. Multiply this value by the appropriate factor. Publications 1457 and 1458 contain these factors.
You must make an adjustment for depreciation or depletion using the factors shown in Publication 1459, Actuarial Values (Book Gimel). You can use the factors for the month in which you made the contribution or for either of the two months preceding that month. See the earlier discussion on Annuities, Interests for Life or Terms of Years, Remainders, and Reversions.
You can download Publication 1459 from www.irs.gov
For this purpose, the term "depreciable property" means any property subject to wear and tear or obsolescence, even if not used in a trade or business or for the production of income.
If the remainder interest includes both depreciable and nondepreciable property, for example a house and land, the FMV must be allocated between each kind of property at the time of the contribution. This rule also applies to a gift of a remainder interest that includes property that is part depletable and part not depletable. Take into account depreciation or depletion only for the property that is subject to depreciation or depletion.
For more information, see section 1.170A-12 of the Income Tax Regulations.taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP29ca93f6
A contribution of an undivided part of your entire interest in property must consist of a part of each and every substantial interest or right you own in the property. It must extend over the entire term of your interest in the property. For example, you are entitled to the income from certain property for your life (life estate) and you contribute 20% of that life estate to a qualified organization. You can claim a deduction for the contribution if you do not have any other interest in the property. To figure the value of a contribution involving a partial interest, see Publication 1457.
If the only interest you own in real property is a remainder interest and you transfer part of that interest to a qualified organization, see the previous discussion on valuation of a remainder interest in real property. taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP62e5ee5d
A qualified conservation contribution is a contribution of a qualified real property interest to a qualified organization to be used only for conservation purposes. taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP5c19c456
For purposes of a qualified conservation contribution, a qualified organization is:
- A governmental unit,
- A publicly supported charitable, religious, scientific, literary, educational, etc., organization, or
- An organization that is controlled by, and operated for the exclusive benefit of, a governmental unit or a publicly supported charity.
The organization also must have a commitment to protect the conservation purposes of the donation and must have the resources to enforce the restrictions.
Your contribution must be made only for one of the following conservation purposes.
- Preserving land areas for outdoor recreation by, or for the education of, the general public.
- Protecting a relatively natural habitat of fish, wildlife, or plants, or a similar ecosystem.
- Preserving open space, including farmland and forest land, if it yields a significant public benefit. It must be either for the scenic enjoyment of the general public or under a clearly defined federal, state, or local governmental conservation policy.
- Preserving a historically important land area or a certified historic structure. There must be some visual public access to the property. Factors used in determining the type and amount of public access required include the historical significance of the property, the remoteness or accessibility of the site, and the extent to which intrusions on the privacy of individuals living on the property would be unreasonable.
A contribution after July 25, 2006, of a qualified real property interest that is an easement or other restriction on the exterior of a building in a registered historic district is deductible only if it meets all of the following three conditions.
- The restriction must preserve the entire exterior of the building and must prohibit any change to the exterior of the building that is inconsistent with its historical character.
- You and the organization receiving the contribution must enter into a written agreement certifying, that the organization is a qualified organization and that it has the resources and commitment to maintain the property as donated.
- If you make the contribution in a tax year beginning after August 17, 2006, you must include with your return:
- A qualified appraisal,
- Photographs of the building's entire exterior, and
- A description of all restrictions on development of the building, such as zoning laws and restrictive covenants.
If you make this type of contribution after February 12, 2007, and claim a deduction of more than $10,000, your deduction will not be allowed unless you pay a $500 filing fee. See Form 8283-V, Payment Voucher for Filing Fee Under Section 170(f)(13), and its instructions.taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP3fa5e949
This is any of the following interests in real property.
- Your entire interest in real estate other than a mineral interest (subsurface oil, gas, or other minerals, and the right of access to these minerals).
- A remainder interest.
- A restriction (granted in perpetuity) on the use that may be made of the real property.
A qualified real property interest described in (1) should be valued in a manner that is consistent with the type of interest transferred. If you transferred all the interest in the property, the FMV of the property is the amount of the contribution. If you do not transfer the mineral interest, the FMV of the surface rights in the property is the amount of the contribution.
If you owned only a remainder interest or an income interest (life estate), see Undivided Part of Your Entire Interest, earlier. If you owned the entire property but transferred only a remainder interest (item (2)), see Remainder Interest in Real Property, earlier.
In determining the value of restrictions, you should take into account the selling price in arm's-length transactions of other properties that have comparable restrictions. If there are no comparable sales, the restrictions are valued indirectly as the difference between the FMVs of the property involved before and after the grant of the restriction.
The FMV of the property before contribution of the restriction should take into account not only current use but the likelihood that the property, without the restriction, would be developed. You should also consider any zoning, conservation, or historical preservation laws that would restrict development. Granting an easement may increase, rather than reduce, the value of property, and in such a situation no deduction would be allowed. taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP1e4b5055
You own 10 acres of farmland. Similar land in the area has an FMV of $2,000 an acre. However, land in the general area that is restricted solely to farm use has an FMV of $1,500 an acre. Your county wants to preserve open space and prevent further development in your area.
You grant to the county an enforceable open space easement in perpetuity on 8 of the 10 acres, restricting its use to farmland. The value of this easement is $4,000, determined as follows:
|FMV of the property before|
|$2,000 × 10 acres||$20,000|
|FMV of the property after|
|$1,500 × 8 acres||$12,000|| |
|$2,000 × 2 acres||4,000||16,000|
|Value of easement|| ||$4,000|
If you later transfer in fee your remaining interest in the 8 acres to another qualified organization, the FMV of your remaining interest is the FMV of the 8 acres reduced by the FMV of the easement granted to the first organization. taxmap/pubs/p561-001.htm#TXMP671b55ce
For more information about qualified conservation contributions, see Publication 526.