Gifts to Charity: Six Facts About Written Acknowledgements

donate buttonThroughout the year, many taxpayers contribute money or gifts to qualified organizations eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions. Taxpayers who plan to claim a charitable deduction on their tax return must do two things:

  • Have a bank record or written communication from a charity for any monetary contributions.
  • Get a written acknowledgment from the charity for any single donation of $250 or more.

Here are six things for taxpayers to remember about these donations and written acknowledgements:

  • Taxpayers who make single donations of $250 or more to a charity must have one of the following:

A separate acknowledgment from the organization for each donation of $250 or more.

One acknowledgment from the organization listing the amount and date of each contribution of $250 or more.

  • The $250 threshold doesn’t mean a taxpayer adds up separate contributions of less than $250 throughout the year.

For example, if someone gave a $25 offering to their church each week, they don’t need an acknowledgement from the church, even though their contributions for the year are more than $250.

  • Contributions made by payroll deduction are treated as separate contributions for each pay period.
  • If a taxpayer makes a payment that is partly for goods and services, their deductible contribution is the amount of the payment that is more than the value of those goods and services.
  • A taxpayer must get the acknowledgement on or before the earlier of these two dates:

The date they file their return for the year in which they make the contribution.

The due date, including extensions, for filing the return.

  • If the acknowledgment doesn’t show the date of the contribution, the taxpayers must also have a bank record or receipt that does show the date.
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About cozbycpa

Heather L. Cozby is a CPA on the South Shore and Cape Cod. The managing partner of Cozby & Company, LLC, Heather has the resources and experience necessary to provide quality professional services on a timely basis and at a reasonable cost. She specializes in tax planning & preparation; audit, review & compilation services; management advisory services; bookkeeping; and accounting. Her unique niche is in working with homeowners’ associations and condominium trusts, advising with rental real estate, and providing outsourced financial consulting for mid-sized companies. She is more entrepreneurial than most accountants, and offers the best of both worlds - providing the services of a larger firm while retaining the ability to connect with her clients on a personal level.
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