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Do I Need Receipts For Charity Donations?

For charity donations after 1993, a canceled check is no longer acceptable as documentation for individual donations of $250 or more. In order to be allowed to deduct these amounts, you must obtain a receipt from the charity that verifies your donation and provides a disclaimer that you did not receive any goods or services (other than incidental religious benefit) in return for your contribution.

For tax year 1994, this receipt must have been obtained no later than October 15, 1995, regardless of the date you filed your 1994 return. For tax years 1995 and later, the receipt must be obtained BEFORE you file your return for the year.

The requirement applies to individual donations of $250 or more only, not cumulative donations to one charity over the period of a year. However, if a single donation is split into multiple donations solely to avoid the receipt requirement, the Internal Revenue Service says that a receipt is still mandatory.

The receipt requirement applies to donations of cash and checks, and also to donations of property. Since it is not the responsibility of the charity to set a value on donations of property, the receipt should contain a "description" of what you gave, as well as the required disclaimer.

If you did receive something in exchange for your donation, the receipt must specify the value of the goods or services received in return. Your deductible contribution is limited to the amount in excess of the value received.

 

 

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Disclaimer
We do not offer legal advice. All information provided on this website is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for proper legal advice. If you have legal questions, we recommend that you seek the advice of legal professionals.

Tax Disclaimer: To ensure compliance with IRS Rules, any U.S. federal tax advice provided in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by the recipient or any other taxpayer (i) for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on the recipient or any other taxpayer under the Internal Revenue Code, or (ii) in promoting, marketing or recommending to another party a partnership or other entity, investment plan, arrangement or other transaction addressed herein.

Copyright 2017 Wink Tax Services / Wink Inc.
Last modified: January 30, 2017