February 09, 2011

Charity Refuses to Provide Year-End Giving Statement

Question:

A person contributes to a charitable organization including individual contributions greater than $250. In spite of repeated efforts, the taxpayer cannot gain the cooperation of the charity to provide the statement. What can the donor do?

Answer:

According to IRS Publication 1771, the answer may be "nothing." Of course, the donor can stop making contributions.

The IRS:

"There are recordkeeping and substantiation rules imposed on donors of charitable contributions: 1) a donor must have a bank record or written communication from a charity for any monetary contribution before the donor can claim a charitable contribution on his/her federal income tax return; 2) a donor is responsible for obtaining a written acknowledgment from a charity for any single contribution of $250 or more before the donor can claim a charitable contribution on his/her federal income tax return (my emphases).

"An organization that does not acknowledge a contribution incurs no penalty; but, without a written acknowledgment, the donor cannot claim the tax deduction."

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