The Sacramento Bee printed an April 11, 2010 tax-related “Ask the Expert” style article (“Set up IRS Payment Plan Online”) which was picked up and re-broadcast by www.AZCentral.com, where I read it.
Lo and behold, one of the questions was related to benefit auctions and the tax deductible nature of a timeshare.
The question was answered by IRS specialist Jesse Weller.
I’ve reprinted the question and answer in its entirety below, or you can read the complete column by clicking here.
Q: My granddaughter is a high school student and member of her school’s musical group. They travel extensively and raise funds to help with traveling costs. At their annual auction fundraiser, I donated a week of my timeshare (worth about $1,700). The bid was for $600. Can I write any of this off as a charitable contribution for tax purposes?
A: I do not have good news. The law generally does not allow a taxpayer to deduct a contribution of less than the entire interest in a property. A contribution of the right to use property is less than your entire interest in that property and therefore is not deductible.