How to Donate Antique Furniture for Taxes

Antique furniture appreciates in value as it ages. The value of a particular piece of furniture depends on its condition, artistry and rarity. Donating antique furniture to a charity can provide you with a significant tax break by allowing you to deduct the item's value from your taxable income. To declare charitable donations, you must itemize your deductions.

Step 1

Find a qualified charity that accepts antique furniture. The Internal Revenue Service only allows you to deduct donations made to a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. You can check a charity's status by using the IRS search feature Exempt Organizations Select Check. Make sure the charity you select is familiar with antique furniture. To receive the maximum deduction for your donation, you need someone who is able to accurately identify the value of your furniture. Before donating the item, you might want to do a little research on your own to ensure you are getting the fair value for your item.

Step 2

Ask the charity for a receipt. If your antique furniture is valued at less than $250, you will need to provide a receipt from the charity stating the charity's name, location, date of donation and description of the items you donated. For donations that are valued between $250 and $500, you will also need to provide written acknowledgment from the charity confirming that you did not receive any goods or services in exchange for the contribution. If your donation is valued between $500 and $5,000, you will need to provide a detailed record of how and when you initially obtained the furniture. In addition, the IRS requires written documentation from the charity indicating whether the charity intends to sell the furniture or keep it for use by the organization

Step 3

Submit a signed appraisal document from a licensed appraiser if the value of the furniture exceeds $5,000. For antique furniture valued at over $20,000, you must also take a photograph of the item before donating. The color photograph should fully show the object and should be no smaller than 4 inches by inches, but ideally 8 inches by 10 inches. Maintain the photo in case the IRS requests a copy. If your antique furniture is appraised at over $50,000, you can request a Statement of Value from the IRS. To submit the request, you need to include a $2,500 user fee in the form of a check or money order payable to the IRS with the appraisal. Also submit a completed Form 8283, Section B.

Step 4

Report the donation on the Gifts to Charity section of IRS Form 1040 Schedule A. For donations valued at over $500, you must also complete Form 8283. You may deduct a maximum of up to 50 percent of your adjusted gross income for the tax year of the donation. However, if you donate more than 50 percent, you can take the deduction for the excess amount on future returns.

About the Author

Jeannine Mancini, a Florida native, has been writing business and personal finance articles since 2003. Her articles have been published in the Florida Today and Orlando Sentinel. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Central Florida.

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