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Time to donate cards is now

(December 2, 2013) – Don’t wait to the last minute to donate your baseball cards to the American Baseball Card Museum if you want a tax deduction in 2013, advises Museum president Jeff Jaech. Donors should allow time for the Museum to consider accepting the gift, and for shipping, so that the December 31 deadline won’t be missed.


The Museum generally accepts pre-1980 baseball cards in any condition. Football, basketball, and non-sports cards may be accepted in special circumstances. Contact the Museum through its website (baseballcardmuseum.org) to inquire whether your gift will be accepted.


The tax benefit of a donation to the Museum could be comparable to what the owner might realize if he sold the cards and paid the income taxes on the gain. This depends on the cards' cost, the donor’s other income, the donor’s place of residence, and whether the donor itemizes his deductions.


Unlike a donation to a charity that will sell the cards or otherwise not use the cards for its charitable purpose, the market values of cards donated to the American Baseball Card Museum are tax deductible as charitable contributions. The gain on the cards escapes income taxation when it is donated. For example, a donor who gives his card, now worth $100 but bought for one cent, to the Museum will qualify for a charitable deduction of $100. If instead he gives his card to a charity that will sell the card, then his charitable deduction is limited to cost, that is, one cent.


Leaders in Congress have stated that major income tax changes will be proposed in 2014. These changes may include eliminating or limiting the charitable deduction. This threat makes 2013 a good year for charitable donations.