Discerning Eye Blog Dr. Leslie Hammond

12/06/12 - The Giving Time of Year

While many of my friends and colleagues are currently indulging their artistic and hedonistic side at Art Basel Miami Beach; I am crunching time with end of the year requests for donation appraisals. This year end crunch is not uncommon, but this year it is especially critical as donors are scurrying to beat the “fiscal cliff” clock.

As of this writing, there are no specific proposals from democrats or republicans targeting charitable deductions. Nevertheless, as the days pass and talks continue to stalemate it is not unlikely that these deductions will not be ignored as an option for addressing the impending spending cuts and tax increases. Nonprofit organizations are not taking any chances either. Many continue to lobby congress to retain the status quo.

Countless nonprofits rely on monetary as well as personal property donations for subsistence, building resources, not to mention collections development. Some donors do give for heartfelt reasons but others only make charitable contributions because they will receive some level of tax deduction.

If you are considering making any contribution to a nonprofit institution and your intent is to gain tax deductions as a result, please contact your financial advisor regarding your specific case; details matter.

If you are planning to specifically donate personal property you are not required to have an appraisal completed by December 31st but the item(s) is required to physically be located at the intended institution. That being said, an appraisal for donation purposes does have a shelf life. In other words, an appraisal must be completed within a specific window of time relative to the actual donation for it to be valid.

So if you are concerned about potentially losing your option to take advantage of the current tax deductions for charitable contributions,


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