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IRS requires charity statement for gifts $250 and larger

Midwest City tax preparer Sean Reed cautions tithers, others to secure proper documentation to deduct cash gifts of $250 and larger.
by Paula Burkes Modified: March 19, 2014 at 11:00 am •  Published: March 18, 2014
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Q&A with Sean Reed

Donors must use care when

reporting their charitable gifts

Q: I understand there’s an important tax case that potentially impacts everyone who contributes $250 or more to their church or other nonprofit organization, and deducts those contributions on their income taxes?

A: Yes, a Virginia couple’s deduction of $22,517 was disallowed because their church’s tithing statement lacked the proper wording.

Q: Aren’t copies of checks good enough?

A: Only those of less then $250. If they’re larger than $250, the Internal Revenue Service requires a Charity Statement.

Q: What’s the proper language?

A: There are several phrases acceptable, but this one is the best to cover the church and congregation: “Pursuant to Internal Revenue Code requirements for substantiation of charitable contributions, no goods or services were provided in return for the Tax Deductible contributions”

Q: Is there a time frame that allows taxpayers to get the proper documentation?

A: To be considered correct and timely, it needs to be on hand by the April 15 filing deadline or by Oct. 15, if you’ve filed for an extension.

PAULA BURKES, BUSINESS WRITER

by Paula Burkes
Reporter
A 1981 journalism graduate of Oklahoma State University, Paula Burkes has more than 30 years experience writing and editing award-winning material for newspapers and healthcare, educational and telecommunications institutions in Tulsa, Oklahoma...
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