Documenting Charitable Contributions
Charitable contributions of any amount are no longer deductible unless you have a proper receipt. There have been recent court cases where the courts have disallowed significant deductions for charitable contributions where the taxpayers did not have a proper receipt. Since a receipt is required before we are allowed to take a deduction for the contribution, please review the following documentation requirements and indicate whether or not you have the required documentation. If an item is not applicable, please just indicate N/A in either the "yes" or "no" column.
1. Contributions Made In Cash. The law requires that you have a receipt, letter, or other written communication from the charity (showing the name of the charity, the date and the amount of the contribution) documenting all charitable contributions made in cash. Please see additional requirements below if the contribution is $250 or more.
Do you have the above required documentation for charitable cash contributions?
2. Contributions Made By Check, Debit Card, or Charge Card. For charitable contributions made by check, the law requires that you either have a receipt as outlined above for "contributions made in cash," a copy of the cancelled check, or some other bank record (e.g., a bank statement, credit card statement, etc.). Please see additional requirements below if the contribution is $250 or more.
Do you have the above required documentation for charitable contributions made by check, debit card, or charge card?
3. Contributions Of $250 Or More. For all charitable contributions by individuals of $250 or more (contributions of cash, by check, by debit or credit card, or of property), the law requires a receipt (written acknowledgment) from the charity to which you made the donation stating the date and amount of the contribution as well as a statement as to whether you received anything in return for your contribution. If you received goods or services in return for the contribution, the receipt must include a description and an estimate of the value of the goods or services received in return for the contribution. If the goods or services received consist solely of intangible religious benefits, the receipt must include a statement to that effect.
For all charitable contributions of $250 or more, do you have the above required documentation?
4. Contributions Of Vehicles, Boats, Or Airplanes Of More Than $500. If you are claiming a deduction of more than $500 for a vehicle, a boat, or an airplane you contributed to charity, the law requires that you obtain a Form 1098-C or other written acknowledgment containing the same information shown on Form 1098-C from the charity in order to deduct your contribution.
Do you have a Form 1098-C documenting your charitable contribution of a vehicle, boat, or airplane?
5. Contributions Of Clothing Or Household Items. Generally, a deduction is not allowed for a charitable contribution of clothing or household items unless the items are in good used condition or better. Household items general include furniture, furnishings, electronics, appliances, linens, and other similar items.
Were your charitable contributions of clothing or household items in good used condition or better?