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Substantiating Charitable Contributions

Why some church receipts are insufficient.

Kendrix v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2006-9

Background. Donors must comply with specific substantiation requirements in order to claim a charitable contribution deduction on their tax return. Special rules apply to any contribution of cash or property valued by the donor at $250 or more. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in a loss of a tax deduction. It is important for church treasurers to be familiar with these requirements, since they generally are responsible for the issuance of contribution statements and receipts. A recent Tax Court case illustrates the importance of compliance with these rules.

A woman (Hannah) claimed a charitable contribution deduction of $22,000 on her tax return for cash and property donated to her church. The cash contributions amounted to $12,000, and consisted of 12 monthly contributions ranging from $250 to $450 and several other contributions ...

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