Are in-kind donations are tax deductible?

How might a business receive a tax deduction on a in-kind donation to a 501c3 charity? How is the amount that can be deducted calculated? What are the legal requirements for a in-kind donation to be tax deductible?


Donations of in-kind services generally cannot be deducted.

Donations of in-kind items (clothes, food, computers, etc.) are deductible. But the amount of the deduction is basically up to the donor; they declare the market value of the items. This is obviously very subjective, but there are some large national nonprofits that publish list of suggested values. For example, the Salvation Army has a list here:

One note -- vehicle donations are treated differently. I believe that the deduction used to be the Blue Book value of the car; I believe that is now only the case if the car is used by the charity in their operations or donated by them directly to a person in need. Most charities that receive donated vehicles will sell them in an auction; in these cases, the amount of the deduction is limited to the amount that the charity receives for the vehicle (i.e. if the Blue Book value is $5,000 but the charity only sells it for $2,000, I believe the deduction is limited to $2,000).

NOTE: I am not an attorney and this is not legal advice. If you seek such advice, you should consult with a lawyer who specializes in this area. My response is based on my 13+ years of professional fundraising.

Answered 9 years ago

In-kind donations of tangible products are generally tax-deductible. For example, if a business wants to donate used computer equipment to a charitable cause, the business can contribute the property to the charity and take a tax deduction equal to the FMV of the property at the time of donation. There are special rules, however, if the property has depreciated or appreciated in value from when the company purchased the product. Definitely consult with a tax advisor before donating property and recording the charitable contributions on the business tax return.

Answered 4 years ago

In-kind gifts can be valuable to a non-profit. Draft policies and procedures to get the most out of these contributions. If your non-profit receives in-kind contributions, here's help understanding their value and knowing how to manage them. For example, your organization could be given transportation or publishing support. An in-kind donation involving time occurs when people give their time free of charge or for payment by a third party on the non-profit’s behalf. An employer might also loan paid employees to help support a non-profit. In-kind contributions can be an important source of non-profit revenue, especially during times of economic recession. Beyond revenue and cost savings, many charities find in-kind contributions an effective way to cultivate supporters and build capacity. When your non-profit receives an in-kind gift, you must record it as revenue using the fair value of the gift and noting the date of receipt.
For example, accepting certain gifts might run counter to your organization's mission and values or you might not be equipped to manage and maintain the value of a gift, such as real estate. A written policy can help manage your donors' expectations and help staff and board members who might be asking for or receiving contributions. Although responsibility to value an in-kind donation falls on the donor, as a courtesy you might acknowledge the fair value of an in-kind donation. You may provide a separate gift acknowledgment after each gift you receive or send an annual summary of contributions by January 31 of the year following the donation. Taking this step will reassure the donor that the gift was received and help solidify your relationship. Evaluating the impact of in-kind contributions can be tricky. As much as possible, track specific ways that in-kind gifts help your organization achieve specific goals. For example, let us say your non-profit is a museum and your goal is to increase your revenue and up the number of annual visitors by 50,000 over the coming five years. If your organization is given $10,000 in in-kind ads and banners, you might attribute an increase in revenue or visitor numbers after the first year to the advertising gift.
Besides if you do have any questions give me a call:

Answered 3 years ago

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