IRS now demands receipts for even small church donations

New tax law affects charitable deductions
The next time you toss bills into the church collection plate, you might want to ask the usher for a receipt.

New federal rules for the 2007 tax year—which took effect January 1—forbid tax deductions for charitable donations unless the taxpayer can substantiate the donation through receipts or official financial records.

The rules, enforced by the Internal Revenue Service, require that people claiming charitable donations back up those deduction claims with canceled checks; records from banks, credit card companies or credit unions; or written notices from the charity or not-for-profit institution.

In the past, the IRS has allowed personal notes, diaries or bank registers as sufficient proof that a person actually placed those $5, $10 or $20 bills in the basket each week of the year.


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