What Are Some IRS Guidelines for Charitable Contributions?


Quick Answer

Some IRS guidelines for charitable contributions include the necessity to be donating to a qualified charitable organization in order for the deduction to be legitimate, explains the Internal Revenue Service. Other guidelines state that the taxpayer file Form 1040 and list the deductions on Schedule A.

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Full Answer

No matter the amount of a donation, in order to deduct the contribution of check, cash or other monetary gift, the taxpayer must maintain a bank record, written communication or payroll deduction record of the date of the contribution, the amount of the contribution and the name of the organization the contribution was made to, explains the IRS. If a donation was done via text message, a phone bill meets the record-keeping requirement if it shows the name of the organization receiving the donation, the amount donated and the date of the contribution.

If a taxpayer receives a benefit because of his contribution, he can only deduct the amount that exceeds the fair market value of the benefit the taxpayer received. The donations of noncash property are usually assessed at fair market value, and household items and clothing must be in good used condition in order to be deductible. Fair market value means the price at which a willing and knowledgeable buyer and seller would change hands, where neither party is under pressure to transact, explains the IRS.

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