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This is part of the IRS’s asymmetrical warfare on the world. 
 
Your CPA’s are correct that the charity should not provide estimates of value to the donor’s of the stuff for the auction. 
 
My comment was related to the charity’s providing an estimate of fair market value to the purchasers of the stuff. The Treasury Regulations contain an example dealing the deductibility of payments for purchases from charity auctions. Treas. Reg. §1.170A-1(h)(5) Example 2. The example specifically discusses the charity making a good faith estimate of the value of things being sold at the auction and the donor deducting only that amount above the charity's estimate of the fair market value.
 
The auction situation and the annual fundraising dinner type situation, in which there are going to be quid pro quo payments, require the good faith estimate of value by the charity. The receipt of donations without a quid pro quo does not.
 
The fair market value estimate of the auction item, by the way, does not necessarily equate to the amount the donor can deduct for the contribution. If the value has appreciated, the donor can't deduct the fair market value because the stuff is not being used in the charitable program of the charity selling it. If it is a service, like the sailing trip, it isn't deductible at all (except for out of pocket costs). 

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