Tips on Valuing Your Charitable Donations to Surplus Exchange

75% of the fossil fuels and energy used by a computer are actually consumed during manufacturing. When you recycle your computer with Surplus Exchange, we will try to refurbish it. This is why, we believe being sustainable is good for everybody. When you recycle your e-waste with us, you are helping give a person with lesser means access to technology, and you’re helping keep useful electronics (or useful raw materials) out of landfills. Everybody wins!

We are a non-profit. This means that we can give you an in-kind receipt for your donations and you will be able to write it off of your taxes. If you donate before January 1, 2014, then you can write the donation off your 2013 taxes. The Fair Market Value of your donated electronics is the amount that you write off.  The IRS Website defines Fair Market value as:

Fair market value (FMV) is the price that property would sell for on the open market. It is the price that would be agreed on between a willing buyer and a willing seller, with neither being required to act, and both having reasonable knowledge of the relevant facts. If you put a restriction on the use of property you donate, the FMV must reflect that restriction.

The FMV of your charitable donations can be confusing and the IRS has strict guidelines for evaluating the value of donations. There is a table of questions to help you determine the FMV of the electronics on the IRS website. We can also help you, by telling you the typical resale value of the equipment at Surplus Exchange.

 For Household goods the IRS website states:

The FMV of used household goods, such as furniture, appliances, and linens, is usually much lower than the price paid when new. Such used property may have little or no market value because of its worn condition. It may be out of style or no longer useful.

You cannot take a deduction for household goods donated after August 17, 2006, unless they are in good used condition or better. A household good that is not in good used condition or better for which you take a deduction of more than $500 requires a qualified appraisal. See Deduction over $500 for certain clothing or household items, later.

If the property is valuable because it is old or unique, see the discussion under Paintings, Antiques, and Other Objects of Art.

If you are unsure of how to write deductions off on your taxes, you should consult your accountant. Some basic rules are:

  • Amounts of $250 require documentation from the charitable organization (the In-kind donation receipt that we give you).
  • An IRS Form 8283, Section A is required for charitable donations exceeding $500 that are non-cash donations.
  • An IRS Form 8283, Section B is required for charitable donations exceeding $5000 that are non-cash donations.