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Substantiating Charitable Contributions

What are the reporting requirements?

The Tax Court refused to permit a taxpayer to deduct cash contributions she made to a television evangelist and her local church, since she could not substantiate any of the contributions. The taxpayer claimed charitable contribution deductions of $2,765 in 1987 and $2,904 in 1988. The IRS audited the taxpayer, and disallowed any deduction for the claimed contributions. The IRS based this decision on the fact that the taxpayer had made all of the alleged contributions in cash and was not able to substantiate any of them with canceled checks or other written evidence (such as notations in her personal diary or written receipts from the organizations to which the contributions allegedly had been made). The Tax Court agreed that the taxpayer could not deduct any of her alleged contributions. It observed:

We begin by noting that deductions are strictly a matter of legislative grace, and ...

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Posted:
  • November 2, 1992

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