DONATING YOUR ART

      Many people have a significant tax deduction hidden in their attics. Donating a piece of unwanted art can provide a healthy deduction. Most Individuals can deduct up to 50% of their adjusted gross income with a qualified art donation. Although, the Internal Revenue Service donation requirements become more stringent with the size of the donation, tax deductions can be a few hundred dollars to a few million dollars.
     Obviously, the amount of the donation depends on the value of the art, but fundamentally any piece of art has the potential for a tax deduction as a charitable contribution. For a taxpayer who owns an unwanted piece of art, it  may be much easier to donate the art then it is to sell it. And in many cases, the tax advantages outweigh the income most art sales would generate.
     Although the process becomes more stringent with the value of the donation, the process is still basically the same. Determine the value of the art to be donated and then find an organization to accept the donation. Surprisingly, determining the value of the art may require less work than locating an organization to accept the art, especially art whose value is under $5,000.
     For donations under $5,000, the services of an appraiser are not even required, but above $5,000 an appraisal is required, and for donations above $500,000, the services of a good tax attorney is probably recommended. For someone considering donating art, Internal Revenue Service publications 526, and 561 provide information on the process and requirements.

TIP
-- Art pieces are often lumped with household goods when donated to charities. The donation value for these lump donations may be much less than donating the art alone. --