IRS - Donation Rules

  • To be deductible, charitable contributions must be made to qualified organizations. Payments to individuals are never deductible.
  • Taxpayers must provide bank records or other information when claiming deductions for charitable donations of money.  Bank records can include canceled checks, bank or credit union statements and credit card statements that show the name of the charity and the transaction posting date.  

  • Taxpayers may also submit a written communication from the charity with the organization’s name, the date of the transaction and the amount of the contribution.  
  • Money donations are defined as those made in cash, or by check, electronic funds transfer, credit card or payroll deductions.  For payroll deductions, the taxpayer should retain a pay stub, W-2 wage statement or other document showing the amount withheld for charity along with the pledge card showing the name of the charity. 

  • In addition, you can generally deduct the fair market value of any other property you donate to qualified organizations. 

  • Previously, taxpayers could back up donations of money with personal bank registers, diaries or notes made around the time of the donation.  Such records are no longer sufficient.
  • There is no change in the requirement that a taxpayer get an acknowledgment from the charity for each deductible donation of $250 or more.
  • Those wanting to confirm that an organization is qualified for a charitable deduction can go to the tax agency’s Web site at and look under “search for charities.”  Churches, synagogues, temples, mosques and government agencies are not listed, but they qualify for deductible donations.
(Source:  “IRS Tightens donation rules,” The Spokesman-Review, Dec. 26, 2006)      

Additional Resources
  • Donation Value Guide.  The Salvation Army provides an extensive list of the average prices in their family stores for items in good condition.  This list is provided for your guidance only.