Accounting Firm Gettry Marcus Lists the Paperwork Required for Individuals Looking to Receive a Charitable Tax Deduction on a Cash Donation in 2014

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Gettry Marcus CPA, P.C., a leading accounting, tax and business valuation firm, provides information on the paperwork needed for individuals to report a charitable deduction on a cash donation in 2014.

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Gettry Marcus is "Always Looking Deeper" to build value for our clients.

Leading accounting, tax and business valuation firm Gettry Marcus CPA, P.C. provides information about the proper paperwork required for individuals who are seeking to report a charitable tax deduction on a cash donation.

Taxpayers must generally provide documentation to support, or substantiate, a claim for any contributions made to charity that they are planning to deduct from their income. Assuming that the contribution was made to a qualified organization, that the taxpayer has received either no benefit from the contribution or a benefit that was less than the value of the contribution, and that the taxpayer otherwise met the requirements for a qualified contribution, then taxpayers can begin to think about whether they have the proper records to prove their claim.

The taxpayer must provide records to prove a donation of any amount of cash (including payments by cash, check, electronic funds transfer or debit, and credit card).
Acceptable records for cash donations of less than $250 generally include:

  •     An account statement or canceled check;
  •     A written letter, e-mail or other properly issued receipt from the qualified organization bearing the name of the organization and the date and amount of the contribution; and/or
  •     A pay stub, Form W–2, or other payroll document showing the amount of a contribution made from payroll.

A taxpayer cannot substantiate deductions through written records he or she has prepared on his or her own behalf, such as a checkbook or personal notes.

If a taxpayer donated $250 or more in cash at any one time, the taxpayer must provide a contemporaneous written acknowledgment of the donation from the qualified organization. For each donation of $250 or more, the taxpayer must obtain a separate written acknowledgment. Furthermore, this written acknowledgement must:

  •     State the amount of the contribution; and
  •     State whether the qualified organization provided the taxpayer with any goods or services in exchange for the donation, and if so estimate their value; and
  •     Be received by the taxpayer before the earlier of (1) the return’s filing date or (2) the due date of the return, plus any extensions.

The written acknowledgment ideally would also show the date of the contribution. If it does not, the taxpayer must also provide a bank record that indicates the date.

The acknowledgment must contain a statement of whether or not a taxpayer received any goods or services as a result of the donation, even if no goods or services were received. Even if the donation was for tithes to a religious organization, such as a church, synagogue, or mosque, the acknowledgment should state that the only goods and services received were of intangible religious value. The Tax Court has upheld the disallowance of charitable contribution deductions where the written acknowledgment omitted such a statement regarding goods or services provided.

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IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, we inform you that any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein.

Gettry Marcus CPA, P.C., a top New York City and Long Island CPA firm with offices in Woodbury, Long Island and New York City. We provide accounting, tax, and consulting services to commercial businesses, high net worth individuals and various industries which include real estate and health care. We have one of the premier and most credentialed business valuation, litigation and forensic accounting groups in the New York Area. Our experience in diverse industries and a highly talented and experienced professional staff gives us the ability to share valuable insights into our clients’ businesses, to better understand their goals and problems and to help them attain the vision they have for their company.

Gettry Marcus is "Always Looking Deeper" to build value for our clients.

Media inquiries: Contact Fayellen Dietchweiler at 516-364-3390 ext. 225 or at


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Scott Darrohn
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Fayellen Dietchweiler
Gettry Marcus
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