Many individuals regularly make gifts to qualified organizations to receive tax-deductible contributions. Pursuant to the IRS rules, a taxpayer who makes a single donation of $250.00 or more to a qualified charity must have an written acknowledgement from the Organization for each single donation of $250.00 or more or an written acknowledgement from the Organization setting out the date and amount of each contribution in excess of $250.00.
The $250.00 amount set out above does not mean that you add up all contributions to see if you reach the $250.00 limit. The $250.00 threshold is only reached when you make a single gift of $250.00 or more.
Another area to watch out for is when you receive goods and services in return for your cash contribution. An example would be when you make a contribution to participate in a charitable golf outing. In such situation, the deductible contribution is the amount of the cash payment that is in excess of the value of the goods and services provided to you.
Finally, note that you are required to receive the written acknowledgement before the date you file your tax return or the due date including extensions for filing a tax return, whichever one is earlier.
I would recommend that when you assemble the information to have your tax return prepared, you match up each charitable contribution with the corresponding written acknowledgement. If you are missing any written acknowledgements, contact the organization immediately to request the same.
By James D. Beatty