What Kind of Documents Do Donation Centers Provide for Tax Write-Off Purposes?


Quick Answer

For non-cash contributions less than $250 in value, donation centers provide receipts or letters giving the organization's name, a description of the contribution, and the location and date of the donation, reports the Internal Revenue Service. For cash contributions under $250, donation centers provide receipts with the organization's name, the date and the amount of the donation. For all contributions over $250, the receipts or letters must stipulate whether the donor received anything of value for the donation.

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Full Answer

As of 2015, when leaving non-cash items worth less than $250 at drop sites, donors do not need to have receipts, but they must keep records of the organization's name, a description of the items and the fair market value they are claiming for tax write-off, explains the IRS. To write off any donations over $250, donors must have written receipts. For non-cash items worth between $500 and $5,000, donors must also have records proving how and when they obtained the items and their original cost. For donations of items worth over $5,000, donors must provide written appraisals from qualified appraisers.

In addition to the organization's receipt, donors need canceled checks, bank statements, credit card statements or payroll deduction records to write off cash contributions of any amount, points out the IRS. Donation centers can list multiple cash contributions separately or in one receipt or acknowledgement letter, but the IRS considers each donation separately for tax write-off purposes.

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