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Substantiating a Charitable Contribution

The IRS requires that donors provide specific documentation in order to claim a deduction.

Charitable Contributions

Key point. Charitable contributions are subject to a number of substantiation requirements. A failure to comply with these requirements may lead to a denial of a charitable contribution deduction.

The United States Tax Court ruled that a married couple could not claim a $217,500 charitable contribution deduction on their tax return due to their failure to comply with the substantiation requirements. A married couple (the "donors") claimed noncash charitable contribution deductions of $217,500 on their tax return. To substantiate the donations the donors attached to their return three Forms 8283 (qualified appraisal summary).

Two of these forms were prepared by appraisers who appraised various items of donated property, and the third form summarized the other two. The IRS audited the donors' return and denied a charitable contribution deduction due to a lack of substantiation. ...

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Richard R. Hammar is an attorney, CPA and author specializing in legal and tax issues for churches and clergy.

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Posted:
  • January 1, 2011

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