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