DEFINITION of 'Proof of Charitable Contributions '

Substantiation required by the Internal Revenue Service for a taxpayer to claim a donation of money, property or financial assets as an itemizable federal income tax deduction. Acceptable forms of proof of charitable contributions include bank statements, payroll deduction records and written statements from the recipient charity containing the charity’s name, contribution date and contribution amount.

BREAKING DOWN 'Proof of Charitable Contributions '

The IRS has slightly different rules for proof of charitable contributions depending on the contribution amount. One of the above three forms of proof is required regardless of the amount, but for contributions of $250 or more, the charity must specify whether it provided the donor with any goods or services in exchange for the gift.

Taxpayers claiming a deduction for more than $500 in noncash contributions must also fill out IRS form 8283 and file it with their annual tax return.

In addition, the IRS requires an independent substantiation of value, such as an appraisal, for noncash donations exceeding $5,000. Taxpayers can consult IRS publication 561 for help determining the value of donated property.

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