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Documenting Your Charitable Contributions

Whether you are giving a lot of money one time or a little throughout the year you need to keep good receipts for all your donations. It’s particularly important if you are giving a lot to a charity or charities. If a taxpayer does not have proper documentation, the taxpayer has no standing for the charitable deduction. The table below provides guidance regarding the documentation requirements for charitable contributions:

If you donate:

Make sure to:

$249 or less

Keep a receipt, letter, bank
record, or other written
record from the recipient with
recipient’s name, amount, and
date of contribution.

$250-$500

Obtain a written
acknowledgment from the recipient.

$501-$5,000

In addition to the written
acknowledgment from the
recipient, document the method
of acquisition, date acquired,
adjusted basis of property, fair value, valuation method, and condition of non-cash property contributed.

More than $5,000

In addition to the written
acknowledgment from the
recipient, obtain an appraisal by a
qualified appraiser.

$500,000 or greater

Obtain an appraisal by a
qualified appraiser and attach
a copy to your tax return along
with acknowledgment from
recipient.