Tax Rules for Charitable Contributions of Money
We often find people get confused about the tax laws regarding contributions to charities, including churches. First a
short note – the contributions are only deductible if they are made to a charitable organization. They are NOT deductible if
they are made to a family in need and not given through a charity. In other words, give money or property to someone
because they have a need and you want to give – but don’t expect an income tax deduction unless the money or property
is being given to a charity.
Starting way back in August of 2006, Congress changed the rules on contributions. Below we’ve tried to cover the general
rules dealing with contributions of MONEY. You will find different article for contributions of noncash items.
1) Every contribution of money must have a document to support it. This document could be a cancelled heck, a credit
card slip, a paycheck stub for a payroll deduction contribution, a receipt from the organization, etc. Your own personal
hand written note is not sufficient.
2) Every contribution of money that hits $250 or more at substantially the same time MUST have a receipt from the
organization to support it. This receipt must:
- a) Be dated on or before April 15th of the year after the contribution was made (i.e., the due date of your income tax
- b) Be in your hands BEFORE the date your tax return is filed with the government.
- c) Have a phrase similar to "No goods or services were provided in exchange for this contribution."
Failure to meet these requirements will result in a denial of the contribution deduction.
THIS ARTICLE IS WRITTEN TO GIVE THE GENERAL RULES AS THEY APPLY TO THE PARTICULAR TOPIC. THIS
ARTICLE DOES NOT COVER ALL THE RULES AS FOUND IN THE INTERNAL REVENUE CODE.
David & Mary Mellem
This article is the property of Ashwaubenon Tax Professionals, 2140 Holmgren Way, Green Bay, WI 54304, 920-496-
1065, and may not be reproduced without the express written consent of Ashwaubenon Tax Professionals.