Tax Tips for Donating Your Horse

If you're considering donating a horse, consider the following tax tips when seeking a deduction.
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If you're considering donating a horse, consider the following tax tips when seeking a deduction.
Universities with equestrian programs may offer your horse a great home--like this donated reining horse at Texas A&M University. No matter where you donate your horse, check to see if the organization qualifies as a charity under IRS guidelines. | Photo by Glen Johnson, courtesy of Texas A&M University

Universities with equestrian programs may offer your horse a great home--like this donated reining horse at Texas A&M University. No matter where you donate your horse, check to see if the organization qualifies as a charity under IRS guidelines. | Photo by Glen Johnson, courtesy of Texas A&M University

In the July 2005 issue of Horse & Rider we explored various options for horse donations. Can you expect a tax write off if you donate your horse? Keep these tips in mind as you explore options for donating your horse.

  • Get advice from an accountant before claiming a tax deduction for your horse.
  • Be sure the organization qualifies as a charity under IRS guidelines.
  • IRS regulations generally allow you to deduct "fair market value"--the price your horse would fetch on the day you make the donation. If you are donating an aged, foundered horse to a rescue group, for example, you will not be able to claim the price you paid when he was a 4-year-old show champion.
  • Most nonprofits let the donor determine the fair market value of the horse.
  • If the value is more than $500, you'll need to file IRS form 8283 with your tax return to claim the deduction.
  • If the value is more than $5,000, you will need to support the claim with a written appraisal by a qualified independent expert, such as an experienced professional trainer. Have two appraisals, in case the IRS disallows one.