5 Reasons Why an Appraisal is Necessary For Charitable Donations

July 14, 2023
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Making a charitable donation can be a rewarding act of kindness. However, there are some important considerations to take into account in order to ensure a successful donation. An appraisal is a key tool to have in hand when donating to charities. This article will look at five reasons why an appraisal is necessary for charitable donations.

1. Understanding the Value of Donations

When considering charitable donations, it is important to understand the value of the items or funds that are being donated. An appraisal can help to determine the fair market value of the donated items, as well as any potential tax deductions associated with the donation. Not only does this help to ensure that the right amount is donated, but it can also help the donor to maximize their tax deductions. Appraisals help to provide an accurate understanding of the value of the donated items, so donors can make informed decisions about the charitable contributions.

2. Compliance with Tax Laws

Appraising a charitable donation is necessary to remain compliant with tax laws. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires that you have an appraisal of any donation worth more than $5,000. Having a professional appraisal will provide an accurate estimate of the value of the donated item, which is important for both the donor, who would like to get the most tax deductions possible, as well as the charity, as it will ensure they receive the right amount of money for the donation. Appraisals provide both the donor and the charity with an objective and third-party opinion of the item’s worth, as well as the details of the donation. Keeping accurate records of the donation means that both parties are aware of the donation’s value and can be confident that the right amount of tax deductions are provided. Appraisals can ensure that these transactions are done properly and in compliance with tax laws.

3. Determining Fair Market Value

The third reason why an appraisal is necessary for charitable donations is to determine an item’s fair market value. An item’s fair market value is the amount an item would typically sell for in the open market and may be different than the item’s original purchase price. Appraisers can help determine market value by researching current and past market conditions and trends to help the donor identify the right value for the tax deduction. Appraisers also look at the condition of the item and its current marketability, which can influence the value. A professional appraiser can provide an accurate assessment of the item’s value, which is important in getting the maximum tax deduction.

4. Reducing Risk of Liability

One of the most important reasons to obtain an appraisal before making a charitable donation is to reduce the risk of liability. When you make a donation of an item that later turns out to be worth more than estimated, this can lead to donors claiming that the item was ovralued for purposes of taking a larger tax deduction. By obtaining an appraisal for the item, you will have evidence of the estimated value to support your donation. Additionally, it can help protect the charity from any liability if the value of the item is overstated on the donor’s tax returns. This is why it is important to have an appraisal before donating, so that everyone involved has accurate records of the value of the item being donated.

5. Providing Documentation for Tax Returns.

When it comes to claiming deductions on charitable donations, you need to have the right documentation. A certified appraisal serves as evidence of what the donated items are worth, which can provide a great tax benefit to the donor. An appraisal provides the necessary receipts and records to the donee to document its donation for the preparer of the tax return. A certified appraisal may be required if the value of the items is more than $5,000, depending on the type of donation. Whether the donation is worth less or more, an appraisal serves as documentation for a donor's claimed deductions. The appraisal also helps to ensure that the donor is accurately claiming the fair market value of the donation on their tax return.


When considering any charitable donation, it is essential to have an appraisal to ensure maximum tax benefits and compliance with local regulations. AppraiseItNow offers experienced and reliable service to give you the confidence to make the best decision and make your donation with peace of mind.

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