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Basics of Donations

The National Science Institute is a federally certified 501(c)(3) Non-Profit organization. This means that donations made to The National Science Institute qualify for a deduction on taxes.

The National Science Institute’s non-profit status may be verified at the IRS website on their Search for Charities page. We are listed as “Geek Group Inc” and it will confirm that we are located in Grand Rapids, Michigan. (Previously in Kalamazoo, and sometimes are still listed as such)

The IRS has a general guide about donations that may be helpful. It can be found here, from the IRS web site.

The basics of deduction

  • You cannot deduct the value of your time.
  • You can deduct the cost of fuel/oil and/or transport.
  • You cannot deduct appraisal fees.
  • You cannot deduct for household items that are considered “less than good used condition” (with exceptions for items over $500 fair market value in its current state)
    • Household items include:
    • Furniture
    • Electronics
    • Appliances
  • You may deduct for a vehicle. At this current time, all vehicles donated to The National Science Institute fall under “Exception 1 – vehicle used or improved by organization”, unless otherwise directly confirmed with the individual donating the vehicle.
  • You cannot deduct partial interest in property (with exception)
  • You may deduct for donating inventory, following your standard method of accounting to determine it’s fair value.
  • Most types of donated items rely on “Fair Market Value” to determine the amount available for deduction. “Fair Market Value” is defined as “the price at which property would change hands between a willing buyer and willing seller, neither having to buy or sell, and both having reasonable knowledge of all the relevant facts”.
  • There are four major “tiers” of non-cash donations, being:

    • Less than $250
    • At least $250 but not more than $500
    • More than $500 but less than $5,000
    • More than $5,000

All donations to The National Science Institute receive a receipt acknowledging the donation for tax purposes. It is up to the individual donating to determine the value for their own records. The National Science Institute must determine value for its own records.

If you would like more information on the donation progress, please contact us. We’d be more than happy to help. We can also provide duplicate or replacement copies of donation receipts.