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Charitable Organizations – Substantiation and Disclosure Requirements – Non-profit

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Substantiation of Contributions

A donor can deduct a charitable contribution of $250 or more only if the donor has a written acknowledgment from the charitable organization. 

The donor must get the acknowledgement by the earlier of:

  1. The date the donor files the original return for the year the contribution is made, or
     
  2. The due date, including extensions, for filing the return.

The donor is responsible for requesting and obtaining the written acknowledgement from the donee.

A donor cannot claim a deduction for any contribution of cash, a check or other monetary gift made on or after January 1, 2007, unless the donor maintains a written record of the contribution. 

Written Acknowledgement

The written acknowledgment required to substantiate a charitable contribution of $250 or more must contain the following information:

  1. name of the organization;
  2. amount of cash contribution;
  3. description (but not value) of non-cash contribution;
  4. statement that no goods or services were provided by the organization, if that is the case;
  5. description and good faith estimate of the value of goods or services, if any, that organization provided in return for the contribution; and statement that goods or services, if any, that the organization provided in return for the contribution consisted entirely of intangible religious benefits, if that was the case.

In addition, a donor may claim a deduction for contributions of cash, check, or other monetary gifts only if the donor maintains certain written records.

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