Harpsichords and other early music keyboard instruments are on occassion donated as gifts to non-profit and charitable organizations such as schools and churches, with the doner taking a tax-deduction under Schedule A on their IRS Form 1040. If a donation is made, the IRS publication 561 "Determining the Value of Donated Property" may apply. Early music keyboard instruments may sometimes be found in probated estates and wills that may require a valuation. For the above, a qualified appraisal can determine an instrument's Fair Market Value (FMV).

If the FMV is $5,000. or more, the deduction should be supported by a written appraisal from a qualified and reputable source, and Section B of Form 8283 signed by the qualified appraiser must be attached to the Form 1040. If the FMV is $20,000 or greater the complete appraisal report or letter must be submitted and the donor must be able to supply a color photograph of the instrument upon request.

Cembaloworks of Washington is qualified to appraise early keyboard instruments and appraises keyboard instruments in the mid-Atlantic region. We visit the instrument, inspect it, take notes and submit a written report detailing its FMV; the method used to determine its value, known comparable sales and qualifications of the appraiser. In addition, we will supply a signed IRS Form 8283 describing the instrument and our determination of its FMV.

Fees are dependent upon the complexity of the appraisal and the amount of travel required. We do not issue "generic" letters for uninspected instruments or provide estimated values over the telephone.