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IRS updates rules for reporting charitable contributions

Many businesses reap the benefits of giving to charities. This generosity often leads to tax deductions, employee benefits and free publicity. Overall, giving is a good feeling. However, the perks that come with donating can be easily lost if taxes are filed incorrectly.

The IRS recently published the final substantiation rules and requirements for charitable contributions. A few key requirements are listed below:

  • Monetary gifts: Cash, checks and other monetary gifts are excluded in the charitable contribution deduction unless the donor maintains a record of the gift. Contributions of $250 or more still require a contemporaneous written acknowledgement. The bank record or written proof must include the following:
    • Name of donee
    • Date of contribution
    • Amount of contribution
  • Property: Donations of property come with additional substantiation requirements. Donors need to maintain a receipt from the donee for property worth less than $250. Otherwise, keep reliable records. Claiming a noncash contribution that is at least $250 – but not over $500 – requires a contemporaneous written acknowledgment. Donations from $500 to $5,000 require both a written acknowledgement and a completed Form 8283.
  • Noncash: In claiming noncash contributions of $5,000 or more, the donor must do three things, which includes:
    • Obtaining a qualified appraisal
    • A contemporaneous written acknowledgement
    • Filing Section A or Section B of Form 8283

What is a contemporaneous written acknowledgment?

As frequently stated above, a contemporaneous written acknowledgment (CWA) is an extremely important part of the charitable deduction process. Failing to provide a proper CWA results in an IRS denial. The CWA must include a couple details, such as:

  • Name of charity
  • Amount of contribution
  • Description of noncash contribution (if any)
  • Statement clarifying good faith

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The Peck Group, LC
5855 Sandy Springs Circle N.E., Suite 190
Atlanta, GA 30328

Phone: 770-884-6914
Fax: 770-933-2369
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