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Charitable Contributions Recordkeeping Requirements

Jan 01, 2023

Part Contribution, Part Goods or Services

A written statement from a charity is required if a donation is more than $75 and is partly a contribution and partly for goods or services. The statement must contain an estimate of the value of goods or services received. Exception: A written statement for goods or services is not required if one of the following is true.

  1. The charity is a federal, state, or local government, or a religious organization where the benefit is an intangible religious benefit, such as admission to a religious ceremony.
  2. The goods or services are of token value.
  3. The goods or services are membership benefits.

Out-of-Pocket and Auto Expenses

If you do volunteer work for charitable organizations you can deduct your out-of-pocket expenses. The expense must be incurred because of the services rendered. The value of your time to render the services is not deductible. Report out-of-pocket expenses as cash contributions.

  • Auto expenses. Deductible out-of-pocket expenses include the cost of using your auto in providing services for a charitable organization. Deduct the actual cost of gas and oil or the standard mileage rate. Add parking and tolls to amount claimed for either standard mileage rate or actual expenses.
  • Charitable standard mileage rate. The charitable standard mileage rate is 14¢ per mile.
  • Travel expenses. The cost of travel, such as air, rail, and bus transportation, as well as meals and lodging, are deductible while away from home doing volunteer work if there is no significant element of personal pleasure, recreation, or vacation in the travel. The deduction will not be denied simply because you enjoy doing the volunteer work. However, if you have only nominal duties for the charity, or if for significant parts of the trip you do not have duties to perform, the travel expenses are not deductible.
  • Written Log. A written log must be kept showing the name of the charitable organization, each date the vehicle was used for charity, and the miles driven for the charity (if using the charitable standard mileage rate).
  • Conventions. Travel expenses to attend a convention of a qualified organization are deductible only if you are a chosen representative. Expenses to attend a church convention, for example, are not deductible if you attend as a member of the church rather than as a chosen representative.
  • Uniforms. The cost and upkeep of uniforms not suitable for everyday use are deductible if required to be worn while performing volunteer work for a charitable organization.

Form 8283, Noncash Charitable Contributions

Use Form 8283, Noncash Charitable Contributions, to report information about noncash contributions when the total amount exceeds $500.


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