published December, 2013
Scurrying to make those donations deductible in 2013?
You’ll need some documentation to deduct charitable donations.
The level of documentation depends on what you’re donating, and the total amount donated. The two categories of donations are “cash” and “non-cash”—cash includes actual folding money, checks, credit card payments, payroll deductions, etc.
For cash, with an individual donation amount under $250, you’ll need to keep a copy of the cancelled check, credit card statement, or a letter from the charity. If you donate $250 or more, you must have a written acknowledgement from the charity – and the IRS has made it clear you need that letter in hand BEFORE we can take the deduction. For a payroll deduction, you need the Pledge Card and W-2 paystubs.
For non-cash with an individual donation of amounts under $250, you’ll need a written acknowledgement or “other record” – if you get a blank receipt FILL IT OUT! If you send me a blank receipt with your other tax documents, the deduction is $0. Maybe take a picture of what you’re donating so you remember? If your non-cash donations total $500 or more, I need to fill out the form with details, so please collect all those receipts.
For a non-cash donation of $250-under $500, you need a written acknowledgement. For a non-cash donation of $500 but under $5,000, you need the written acknowledgement, plus I need to fill out Form 8283 with details about what you donated, when you got it, the value when you acquired it, and the value when donated, etc. For donations of $5,000 or more, call me. For more information, see http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/i8283.pdf. Did I mention if your non-cash donations total $500 or more, I need to fill out the form with details, so please collect all those receipts.
Donated cars carry a special form the charity should provide you with.