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In my years on TMF, I don't think I've ever posted a question on this board. This is probably a question that has been discussed here previously, but I didn't recognize a thread when I did a search & checked the FAQ..

If someone donates books to charity, just everyday novels, business books etc., in paper or hardback, what percentage of the original cover price is an allowable deduction? Or is there some method other than percentage of cover price used in determining the allowable deduction?

Can anyone provide a rule of thumb or direct me to a specific reference?


Thanks,
ShelbyBoy


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There is no specific formula for determining the cost. Where are you donating these books to? The best idea is to figure out what they would be able to sell similar books for. For example, if it's at a book fair for a school, what are the average prices that the novels would be sold for, and what would they sell the business books for? Or if you are donating to a library, you could go to a used book store and figure out how much similar books sell for. When you do donate, just make sure you get a receipt of the approximate number of books, as well as the type, i.e., 25 paperback mystery novels, 10 hardcover business books, etc. If they just give you a receipt, saying that you donated books, make the list yourself, and attach to the receipt.

As always,
Tammy (a small Fool)
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Thanks Tammy.



- ShelbyBoy
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If someone donates books to charity, just everyday novels, business books etc., in paper or hardback, what percentage of the original cover price is an allowable deduction? Or is there some method other than percentage of cover price used in determining the allowable deduction?

There is no set percentage. The value is whatever the books could be sold for to another person. You can probably get some guidelines from the Salvation Army. I would guess that a paperback would be worth about $.25-$.50 and a hardcover book no more than $5, probably less.

Ira
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As others have said, the value you should claim is the items fair market value. That is, the price the item would sell for when a willing seller sells it to a willing buyer. A good idea, as mentioned before, is to see what similar items sell for at your local Goodwill store or whatever.

For another point of reference, I use the "It's Deductible" software to help prepare my taxes. It currently lists fair market values for books as follows (good, fair, poor condition): Hardback - $3, $2, $1; paperback $1, $0.75, $0.25; cookbook - $5, $2, $1; audiobook $6, $4, $1, etc

Hope that helps,
sjfans
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If someone donates books to charity, just everyday novels, business books etc., in paper or hardback, what percentage of the original cover price is an allowable deduction? Or is there some method other than percentage of cover price used in determining the allowable deduction?

Most public libraries have a Friends of the Library group that accepts the book donations and sells the used books both on a regular basis (usually in a specific area of the library) and at special sales. Take a look at the stock and the prices asked to get a good idea of what deduction to take for the books you're donating.

pills

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I usually donate text or reference books to our local community center and deduct the average prices charged by Strand (NY).

I give paperbacks to my library, where they are sold at reglular book sales, usually by weight (25c/pound). I've never thought about deducting paperbacks!

pb



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