My Taxidermy Mounts Are Worth Less Than When I Purchased Them, Maybe Not

The question came up the other day “I purchased all my taxidermy mounts in the 80s so why do I need an appraisal? All I have to do is add up the receipts to figure out what I can deduct from my taxes.” This statement could be very wrong and cause future problems.

IRS Form 526 states “If you donate taxidermy property to a qualified organization, your deduction is limited to your basis in the property or its fair market value, whichever is less. This applies if you prepared, stuffed, or mounted the property or paid or incurred the cost of preparing, stuffing, or mounting the property. Your basis for this purpose includes only the cost of preparing, stuffing, and mounting the property. Your basis does not include transportation or travel costs”.

IRS Form 526 states original purchase price or fair market value whichever one is less. So you bought your mounts in the 80s, and you figure your receipts will be less. Let’s discuss this, the market was very strong until 2008 following that the market on most luxury or extra items went way down.

Fair market value right now could be lower than the original purchase price. The only way to know is to have your taxidermy mounts appraised and compare the two amounts. Assuming that the original cost was lower could cause trouble without getting a professional personal property appraiser to review your amounts.

There is also the very real possibility that your taxidermy mounts have depreciated mainly due to age and the care they received in the past 30 years. Your taxidermy mounts could have faded, or cracked due to the lack of maintenance that is required for optimum longevity.

So the only way to get the proper answer is to hire a Personal Property Appraiser and have a fair market value appraisal completed before tax time.

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Three Reasons Why You Need a Personal Property Appraiser

There are many reasons why you will have the need of a Personal Property Appraiser in your life time and this article is going to cover three reasons. An Appraiser can do many things to help in your life. When you are in need of cataloging or placing a value on your many collectables call an appraiser.

One thing is they can help protect your investment in collectables from art to zebra rugs and everything in between, by providing a complete inventory of all your items in question.

Collectables include;

Art work
Vehicles and Equipment
Stamp collections
Gun collections
Precious Metals
Sport Memorabilia
Taxidermy mounts

Second benefit of hiring a Personal Property Appraiser is they are unbiased and not involved in any disputes of value when it comes to an appraisal. They use recent market activity to figure out the current value that is needed for your collection and provide you with a report. This is very important when it comes to tax donations, IRS requires an appraisal before accepting the donation.

The third reason is they are very helpful is, they catalog your collectables in one report and supply you with their current value. A Personal Property Appraiser should provide you a printed copy and an electronic copy on a PDF for your safe keeping. This is very helpful in times of disaster to refer to, or when there is an inheritance involved and the children want to know what a parent had and its current value.

There are many other reasons you need a Personal Property Appraiser and these reasons will present themselves many times in your life. Feel free to give one a call and discuss your needs with them.

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Why Invest In Cargo Insurance Today

The risks associated with conducting trade around the world have pre-occupied the minds of most merchants for centuries. Whenever goods move, they are indeed subjected to risk and their value might be partially or totally lost because of different reasons. As a business owner, this can be very critical to your enterprise.

3 Main Types Of Risk


3 Cargo Clauses (A,B and C)

A – This is considered the most comprehensive type of all risks policies which protect you from the effects of most problems, with the exception of strikes and wars. Be reminded that when you are dealing with a dangerous zone during the transit of your vessel, piracy is actually considered an act of war. If you want to minimize this, consider taking out specific cover.

B – This will cover several common risks on a reasonable attributable basis. Be aware that it is actually possible to attribute responsibility or perhaps even blame between different parties to a transaction.

C – This is the most restricted type of policy. It might only cover accidental damage, for instance.

Other Classifications Of Insurance Policies

Marine – This will apply to air and sea freight. It covers loading/unloading, weather issues, and problems with the vessel or airplane.

Truck Cargo – This will cover theft while a vehicle is unattended along with damage to the goods because of movement or collisions.

Voyage – Traders who are not frequently engaging in a trade might opt for specific cover with a policy which sets out the places of origin and destination. When the goods have arrived already, the policy expires. Hence, you need to do it all again the next time you need such coverage.

Open Cargo – This is the best option for regular exporters or importers. This is for an agreed timescale or total value, or both. Thus, if you must export thousands of goods in the next 6 months, you can actually cover such value. The service provider does not need to know where or when the goods are moving.

Tips For Choosing The Best Provider

Begin by approaching a general-purpose company to get a quote. You can actually ask for referral or recommendations from reputable businesses that frequently use this service. Be reminded though that marine freight insurance is a specialist area. So if you need such, it would be wise for you to seek for an expert.

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