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Substantiating Cash Contributions

The Tax Court issues helpful guidance.

Gomez v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 1999-94

Background. A donor claimed charitable contribution deductions totaling $26,000 on his 1993 tax return. The donor claimed that he had made contributions to two churches, and two church-affiliated colleges. The amount of the charitable contribution deduction was estimated by the donor and given to his tax return preparer who prepared his 1993 return. The donor did not maintain any documentation supporting the contributions claimed. The IRS audited the donor's 1993 tax return, and allowed a charitable contribution deduction of only $1,300. The donor appealed to the Tax Court.

The Court's decision. The Court began its opinion by noting that "deductions are a matter of legislative grace, and the taxpayer bears the burden of proving that he or she is entitled to the claimed deductions."

The Court noted that in 1993 a donor could claim a ...

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Posted:
  • June 1, 1999

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