Earlier this week I put a post on my Facebook page about a gift certificate I had donated to a non-profits on-line silent auction. Mistakenly I said "get a will and earn a write-off". Another lawyer caught my mistake! According to the IRS, only if the winner paid more than the fair market value of the donation, was a deduction allowed. And then the deduction would only be for the amount exceeding the fair market value. For example, my gift certificate was for $350. Only if the winner pays more than $350 is a deduction allowed, and then only the amount greater than $350. So if they paid $400, the winner would have a charitable gift deduction of $50.
Lawyers, we are the subject of many jokes, but our keen eyes and attention to details are a great asset. Thanks to Attorney E.W. for catching my oversight. The Facebook post was quickly modified. And here is a link to that on-line auction.