January 15, 2013

$250 Threshold for Contribution Reporting--Explanation

Question:

"The church or religious organization may either provide separate acknowledgments for each single contribution of $250 or more or one acknowledgment to substantiate several single contributions of $250 or more. Separate contributions are not aggregated for purposes of measuring the $250 threshold."

Does this mean that in recording and giving tax deduction statements for tithes and offerings that only individual gifts exceeding $250 are tax deductible, and that only those individuals gifts exceeding $250 are totaled for tax deductible purposes? So, a family that gives $50 a week cannot count any of that giving as a deduction?

Answer:

No; any amount given to a charitable organization is tax deductible. 

The quote in the question above is from a section of Publication 1828, explaining that donors who donate $250 or more in a single contribution must have “a contemporaneous, written acknowledgment of the contribution from the recipient church or religious organization” in order to claim a deduction for this donation. This is not saying that donations less than $250 are not deductible, simply that donations of $250 or more must be documented in order to be deductible.

The quote above also explains that donations of less than $250 are not combined to reach the $250 threshold.

See page 24 of Publication 1828 (Publication 1828) for a full explanation of how churches should report donations.

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