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IRS Eyes IP Gifts

by Glen Shapiro, LawAndTax-News.com, New York

24 December 2003


The US Internal Revenue Service on Monday announced that it will be increasing scrutiny of the donation of patents and other intellectual property to charity.

In a statement, the IRS revealed that it is aware that some taxpayers transferring patents or other intellectual property to charitable organizations are claiming charitable contribution deductions in excess of the amounts to which they are entitled.

In particular, the IRS signalled its awareness of purported charitable contributions of intellectual property involving: 1) transfers of non-deductible partial interests in intellectual property; 2) the expectation or receipt of benefits in exchange for transfers; 3) inadequate substantiation of contributions; or 4) overvaluation of intellectual property transferred.

"As we approach the end of the year, it is important for taxpayers considering donations of patents or other intellectual property to focus on the limitations on these deductions," explained IRS Commissioner Mark Everson. "We’re seeing an increasing number of donations that don’t pass the smell test. Donations that are overly inflated or made with strings attached are going to receive increased scrutiny.”


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