5 Things to Know About Substantiating Donations
November 6, 2018
There are virtually countless charitable organizations to which you might donate. You may choose to give cash or to contribute noncash items such as stock, personal property or real estate. Whatever you donate, once you do the good deed, you owe it to yourself to claim a tax deduction (provided you itemize rather than taking the standard deduction).
One requirement is documentation. And precisely what you’ll need depends on the type and value of your donation. Here are five things to know about substantiating charitable donations:
Among other things, a contemporaneous written acknowledgment must be received on or before the earlier of the date you file your return for the year in which you made the donation or the due date (including an extension) for filing the return. In addition, it must include a disclosure of whether the charity provided anything in exchange. If it did, the organization must provide a description and good-faith estimate of the exchanged item or service. You can deduct only the difference between the amount donated and the value of the item or service.
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