July 21, 2014

MinistryCPA Special Topic: What Does "Quid Pro Quo" Mean?

Quid pro quo is Latin for "something for something," as in "give something to get something." A contribuiton made by a donor in exchange for goods or services is a quid pro quo contribution. If a donation is greater than $75, and the organization gives the donor something in return, the organization must disclose the value of that item or service to the donor.

Donors can only claim a deduction for the amount they contributed above the amount of the goods or services they received. For example, Susie Smith gives $100 to a 501(c)(3) organization, and Susie receives (from the organization) a water park ticket valued at $30. Susie can only claim $70 for her charitable contribution. Even though the part of Susie's payment available for deduction does not exceed $75, a disclosure statement must be filed because Susie's payment (quid pro quo contribution) exceeds $75.

Quid pro quo requirements state that if a donor does not receive goods or services for a contribution, a disclosure statement on the contribution receipt is still required. The disclosure must clearly state that the donor did not receive any goods or services from the organization.

Read IRS Publication 1771 for more information on quid pro quo contributions.

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