Hi, ECN,
I do our income taxes (after taking a course from H.&R. Block and working for them one year).  I was audited for our donation about 5 years ago.  We were donating about  $19,000 on an 8283 with an appraiser's and a museum's signature and letters from each. I don't remember the value per specimen, but our appraiser usually  uses about $6, sometimes up to $10.  Fortunately after phoning a number of museums, I found one who had purchased some specimens from Europe, including types, and they had a higher value per specimen than I.
 
IRS ACCEPTED IT!!!! 
 
I went that high because when the IRS agent Bothwell spoke to ECN in 1997 or 1998 he said when Van Gogh's paintings were selling for $80 million, essentially he would not see donations under 20,000 in his office. I wrote down what he said and if I remember correctly, sent a copy to him to ask if I had misquoted him in anything, and he replied that I had not.   Right now my computer won't scan anything, so I can't send that letter. I'll try to find someone who can scan it and send it.  Meanwhile I'll answer some of your questions. He said deductions over $20,000  had mandatory referral to  his office. He said he would used the price in a catalog for 4 insects, for example, but not for 400 or 4000 of the same species.  When I said he was using the criteria of amateur entomologists for value --size and color--he said a small fly could have the same value as a large gaudy insect.  He said we could use a dealer's catalog for value, but he was able at that time to phone museums and get information on 10 purchases by phone in three days.  He said an identified insect was not worth more than an unidentified, because the insects in catalogs are identified.  He said paying cash for the identification of an insect does not allow one to deduct that payment when the insect was given to a museum. He said he probably wouldn't argue about a value of $5 for an insect at that time, but this would not be applicable to 100 insects. He said yes, one  could give money to a museum to buy his specimens at whatever price he/she chooses. This would set a fair market value.   He said a bulk collection of 200,000 insects was probably not worth twice a donation of 100,000 insects, because for example, a cow cannot be valued as if it is hamburger patties.
 
Yes, there are some statements we as a group would not agree with, either then or now.  Perhaps it is time to invite an IRS agent back again.  I don't know who arranged the first visit.  It was a friendly meeting, as I recall.
 
And yes, Kris, the donation must be appraised if over $5000 is claimed, and either way, it must be reported on IRS form 8283.  Have anyone who want to donate look up that form on the IRS website.  I got my first donation appraised, and when I give something under $5,000, I just say the value was estimated compared to a previous appraisal.  But one has to have that first one.
 
Aha! An entomologist friend is in town and will try to scan the letter for me when he gets home after 8 PM and I'll redact references to museums and send it as soon as I can.
 
Lois
 
From: Lynn Kimsey
Sent: Wednesday, March 01, 2017 9:02 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: valuation of insect collections

Kris,

Same thing here. Actually I think its an IRS requirement.

Lynn


From: Entomological Collections Network Listserve <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Simpson, Kristin B. <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, March 1, 2017 6:33:04 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: valuation of insect collections
 

Lynn,


I'm not sure if this is just a Missouri thing, but if the donation is more than $5,000 the donor must get the appraisal from an independent source.


Kris


Kristin B. Simpson, Collections Manager
Enns Entomology Museum
3-38 Agriculture Building
mailing address:  1-33 Agriculture Building
                             University of Missouri
                             Columbia, Missouri  65211
Phone:  573-882-2410
Fax:  573-882-1469
[log in to unmask]

From: Entomological Collections Network Listserve <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Michael A. Ivie <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, February 28, 2017 5:40:37 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: valuation of insect collections
 

Dear Cherry,

It seems I have missed something in our community, a new museum in Decatur!  I visited your website, and wow, is that building being actually built?  It looks fantastic! Love the praying mantis.

Perhaps you could tell us more? Will the Cook be building a research collection of insects?  We don't get a new natural history museum very often, so wave that flag!

Mike



On 2/28/2017 10:22 AM, Cherry Johnson wrote:
[log in to unmask] type="cite">

Luc,

Thanks for this post!  I am dealing with the same situation and finding it very difficult to get values for insurance purposes, etc.  I would love to know how others handle this.

 

Cherry Johnson

Collections Manager

cid:<a[log in to unmask] src="cid:FA6F7429061147F9A51D17E9CFA8C0B9@LoisHP" width=161 height=54>

cid:<a[log in to unmask] src="cid:0A16FD43B901475B8F3EB933E9836C70@LoisHP" width=161 height=39>

[log in to unmask]

Office: 256-351-4510

www.cookmuseum.org

1740 4th Ave SE, Suite E, Decatur, Alabama 35601

P.O. Box 2955, Decatur, Alabama 35602

 

From: Entomological Collections Network Listserve [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Luc Willemse
Sent: Tuesday, February 28, 2017 6:53 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: valuation of insect collections

 

Hi Everyone,

 

Here in the Netherlands there is a possibility for those who donated an insect collection to use the value of the collection for tax reduction. I am trying to prepare a policy document on this subject in which I want to specify the prices Naturalis is going to apply to specific categories of insects like mounted, unmounted, type material. Anyone out there who has done this exercise already  and/or has a price-list which is used for similar purposes.

 

Thanks in advance for responding

 

Met vriendelijke groet / With kind Regards,

 

Luc Willemse

Afdelingshoofd Collectie Entomologie/

Head of Entomological Collections

 

T +31 (0)71-7519351, M +31 (0) 638471668
Darwinweg 2, Postbus 9517, 2300 RA Leiden
[log in to unmask]I www.naturalis.nl

 

 

Met vriendelijke groet / With kind Regards,

 

Luc Willemse

Afdelingshoofd Collectie Entomologie/

Head of Entomological Collections

 

T +31 (0)71-7519351, M +31 (0) 638471668
Darwinweg 2, Postbus 9517, 2300 RA Leiden
E [log in to unmask]I www.naturalis.nl

Temporary office address: Vondellaan 55, Postbus 9517, 2300 RA Leiden

 

Due to the construction of new public museum facilities, depots, labs and offices, the zoological, geological and paleontological collections of Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden will be closed to all visitors till the end of 2018. In case of logistic questions and updates on planning and progress, please check www.naturalis.nl or contact [log in to unmask]. We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience.


-- 
__________________________________________________

Michael A. Ivie, Ph.D., F.R.E.S.

NOTE: two addresses with different Zip Codes depending on carriers

US Post Office Address:
Montana Entomology Collection
Marsh Labs, Room 50      
PO Box 173145
Montana State University                
Bozeman, MT 59717
USA  

UPS, FedEx, DHL Address:
Montana Entomology Collection
Marsh Labs, Room 50      
1911 West Lincoln Street
Montana State University                
Bozeman, MT 59718
USA  


(406) 994-4610 (voice)
(406) 994-6029 (FAX)
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