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Another Cpa weighing in here. Assuming that Joe did not "create" the item  
and donates it to the Auction and it sells (ARSC does not need to hold it), 
he  can take a tax deduction  for the sale price 0 which ARSC can provide. 
If  it does not sell, no deduction. Because the FMV of the item when it is 
SOLD is  the tax deductible contrinution, the buyer cannot deduct it as a 
contribution  because they got the item at the then FMV.
 
And BTW, with Cary's car donation the deduction is what the charity  
received for the car. That is NOT what it sold for. The company that handles the  
pick up and sale of vehicles takes a nice fee so the charity issues a 
receipt  for what it realized - which often is not much these days. 
 
Steve
 
 
 
 
In a message dated 4/26/2012 6:18:33 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,  
[log in to unmask] writes:

You may  be able to get away with this, but, the way I read the rules, ARSC
has a 3  year holding period. Otherwise you can take off what it was sold  
for
only.   

Steve