Jump directly to the content

Substantiating Cash Contributions of $250 or More

Written requirements for significant contributions.

Background. A registered nurse worked for several employers in different cities. She claimed a $17,000 deduction on her federal tax return for charitable contributions, which she reported on line 15 of Schedule A ("gifts by cash or check"). Next to the $17,000 amount she wrote "church tithes different churches—cash each Sunday." The IRS audited the taxpayer's tax return, and denied a deduction for the entire $17,000. The taxpayer appealed to the Tax Court.

The Court's ruling. The Court noted that the taxpayer did not attempt to explain how she arrived at the $17,000 amount she claimed for charitable contributions. She testified that she attended "any kind of [her denomination's] churches that I could find [and contributed] 10 percent of what I earned that week." She also testified that she donated $1,000 to a charity that failed to provide her with a written acknowledgment of the contribution. ...

Join now to access this member-only content

Become a Member

Already a member? for full access.

Related ResourcesVisit Store

2020 Church & Clergy Tax Guide
2020 Church & Clergy Tax Guide
Find comprehensive help understanding United States tax laws as they relate to pastors and churches.
Talking to Your Congregation About Money
Talking to Your Congregation About Money
Helpful insights on talking about money and encouraging people to become generous givers.
Charitable Contributions Bulletin Inserts
Charitable Contributions Bulletin Inserts
Help your members give more by answering their charitable giving and tax law questions.
Church Fundraising Campaigns
Church Fundraising Campaigns
Discover tips on raising and borrowing money.