The Catholic University of America

Summary of Federal Laws


Tax Issues Related to Donations

Substantiation and Disclosure Provisions

26 USC 170; 26 CFR 1.170A-13

Substantiation and disclosure provisions, under I.R.C. § 170(f)(8), apply for contributions made to tax exempt organizations. For charitable contributions of $250 or more, the donor needs to receive a contemporaneous written acknowledgment from the I.R.C. § 501(c)(3) organization of the gift.The acknowledgment should note the amount of any cash contribution and, if the donation is in the form of property, the acknowledgment must describe, but need not value the property. Valuation of the property is the responsibility of the donor. 

A donor cannot claim a tax deduction for any contribution of cash, a check or other
monetary gift unless the donor maintains a record of the contribution in the form of either a
bank record (such as a cancelled check) or a written communication from the charity (such
as a receipt or letter) showing the name of the charity, the date of the contribution and the
amount of the contribution.

See also Donee Responsibilities with Respect to Charitable Contributions.


Topic Number 506 Charitable Contributions

Publication 1771 Charitable Contributions: Substantiation and Disclosure Requirements

IRS Publication 526: Charitable Contributions

Revisions to IRS Publication 4302, A Charity's Guide to Car Donations (2015)

IRS Rules and Regulations: What you need to Know to Stay out of Trouble, by Alison Paul

(from CASE website)

 updated 12-17-18 mlo