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IRS Issues New Charitable Contribution Regulations

Regulations clarify questions about contribution substantiation requirements.

The IRS issued regulations in August that clarify a few questions that have arisen in applying the new charitable contribution substantiation rules. Perhaps the most relevant provision for church treasurers is the substantiation of "out-of-pocket" expenses incurred by a person who performs volunteer services on behalf of a charity.

To illustrate, let's say that Greg, a member of First Church, participates in a short-term missions project and in the process incurs $300 of unreimbursed out-of-pocket travel expenses. The IRS has long acknowledged that such expenses are deductible as a charitable contribution. But what about the new rules for substantiating charitable contributions of $250 or more? Do they apply to this kind of contribution? Is the church responsible for keeping track of Greg's travel expenses in order to determine if they are $250 or more?

The proposed regulations address this ...

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