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Substantiation of gifts of $250 or more, tax tip 5/365

Happy Monday to all. Here’s a new tax tip.

A gift to a qualified charitable organization may entitle you to a charitable contribution deduction against your income tax. But there are record keeping requirements to claim the charitable deduction.

Substantiation of gifts of $250 or more

For any contribution of either cash or property of $250 or more, a donor must receive contemporaneous written acknowledgment from the donee.

Requirements of written acknowledgment

The written acknowledgment must include:

  1. The date of the gift and the charity’s name and location.
  2. Whether the gift was cash or a description of the noncash gift.
  3. A statement that no goods or services were provided by the organization in return for the contribution, if that was the case.
  4. A description and good faith estimate of the value of goods or services, if any, that an organization provided in return for the contribution.
  5. A statement that goods or services, if any, that an organization provided in return for the contribution consisted entirely of intangible religious benefits, if that was the case.

Contemporaneous
For a written acknowledgment to be considered contemporaneous with the contribution, a donor must receive the acknowledgment by the earlier of: the date on which the donor actually files his or her individual federal income tax return for the year of the contribution or the due date (including extensions) of the return.

Let’s simplify over the next few posts. I’ll really break these rules down to the most basic elements.

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