Appraisals for donations of gifts in kind

Generally, appraisals are central to the success of gifting arrangements, and may be produced after the tax shelter identification number has been issued.

The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) requires that appraisals of gifts in kind be produced as they become available after the CRA have issued the tax shelter identification number. The promoter has to include these reports when they file Form T5003SUM, Tax Shelter Information Return, in the following year. If the number of appraisal reports is substantial (more than 10), the CRA will accept a listing of the appraisers along with one completed and representative report from each appraiser. The list has to be prepared in the format provided on Form T5001, Application for Tax Shelter Identification Number and Undertaking to Keep Books and Records.

The appraiser should be at arm's length from the donor or the institution receiving the donation. A fair market value (FMV) evaluation should be obtained from a dealer or appraiser who is active in the marketplace for the object donated.


If an appraisal is needed and you think the FMV of the gift is $1,000 or less, a qualified staff member of the institution receiving the gift can appraise it.

If there is difficulty in finding an independent appraiser, or if it involves an unreasonable expense, qualified staff members of the institution accepting the gift can appraise it, even though the FMV might be more than $1,000.

Forms and publications

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