We’ve explored the basics of charitable contributions and which organizations qualify for tax-deduction purposes.  Today, I’ll explore the recordkeeping requirements for documenting your charitable contributions.

Documentation for contributions by cash, check or credit card is straightforward enough.  Maintain receipts or other records that show the amount donated and when.

If you donate more than $250 in cash to an organization at any one time, the organization must provide you with a written confirmation of the donation.

What if you donate property, such as used clothing to Goodwill?  In that case, you should try to obtain a receipt from the organization.

If you donate more than $500 worth of property to charities during the year, you have to file Form 8283 and include more detail to the IRS about who you made the contribution to, what type of property was donated, and how you determined the value of the property. 

If you donate $500 or more of any single item of clothing or household items that are not in “good condition,” you must include a report from a qualified appraiser.

If you claim a deduction for more than $5,000 worth of property donations, you also must include a report from a qualified appraiser.

The rules for donating a car to a charity are even more complex, and will be explored in a future blog post.

If you donate more than $5,000 worth of property, even more detail is required, such as (possibly) a report from an appraiser.

“This blog post, along with comments that may follow, should not be considered tax advice. Before you make final tax or financial decisions, please secure a professional tax advisor to give you advice about your unique situation. To secure Jason as your accountant, please click on the ‘Services’ link at the top of the page.”