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

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.


by Paula Burkes
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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