Record-keeping Requirements for Charitable Donations

There are many things we can donate to charity - cash, property, clothing, assets. Each one has its own requirement for receiving an income tax deduction. Review this flowchart to learn more.

Now is the time that many people start to accumulate tax documents to either prepare their taxes or provide the documents to their tax preparer. What type of documentation is needed to support charitable deductions is one of the more complicated and misunderstood types of documentation.

The rules are complicated, confusing, and generally not something that people think much about when donating. However, getting the documentation at the time of the donation is the best way to ensure that you have what you need to substantiate the deduction in the event the IRS comes calling.

To help you easily identify what you need in different scenarios, we prepared a flow chart for your review. We recommend referencing the flowchart at the time of the donation whenever possible. At the latest, be sure to review the chart (and obtain documentation) before filing your tax return for the year that you gave to charity. Certain documentation, if not received before filing your tax return, cannot be obtained afterward to satisfy an IRS request for proof of donation.

Download the flowchart here.

We hope you find this tip (and chart) useful for preparing your 2019 income tax returns.

Read more about charitable giving strategies in this area of our blog.

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