BCLP Charity Law

Charity Law


Main Content

Keeping Adequate Records for Charitable Donations

November 28, 2011


When a taxpayer makes a charitable donation, he or she must maintain adequate records.  Without such records, the taxpayer is not entitled to a charitable deduction under Section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code.  This situation occurred in Joyce A. Linzy v. Commissioner because the taxpayer, who ironically owned and operated an income tax return preparation business, was unable to provide proper records.

The taxpayer made charitable contributions to Church 1 and Church 2 in 2007.  The contributions to Church 1 totaled $7,500 and were acknowledged by both a letter dated January 1, 2010 and copies of checks, all for amounts greater than $250.  The contributions to Church 2 were evidenced by a tithing statement dated January 1, 2010 which acknowledged that the taxpayer donated a total of $2,255 and included several copies of checks, some of which were for amounts less than $250.

For cash donations less than $250,

IRS Exempt Organization Newsletter 2011-18

November 22, 2011


On November 18, the IRS released its Exempt Organization Newsletter, Issue Number 2011-18. Topics include the following:

  • IRS Seeks Applicants for Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities
  • Reinstatement of Exempt Status after Automatic Revocation
  • Certain Small Organizations Not Required to File Application for Exemption Have Annual Filing Requirement
  • Filing Form 990-N for a Prior Year
  • IRS Survey of Exempt Organizations
  • Telephone Numbers for FBAR Hotline
  • Webinar on Reporting Employer-Sponsored Health Plan Coverage on Form W-2 Now Available on IRS Video Portal
  • Office of Professional Responsibility and Return Preparer Office Offer Free Webinar

    IRS Releases Additional Guidance for Credit Counseling Organizations

    November 16, 2011


    As we discussed in our Janaury 18, 2011 post, credit counseling and down payment assistance organizations are subject to special scrutiny by the IRS.  The IRS recently issued “Frequently Asked Questions” regarding credit counseling organizations, including factors the IRS considers to determine whether such organizations qualify under Section 501(c)(3).   This information is useful for new organizations as well as existing organizations to confirm the organization continues to operate within the IRS guidelines.

    Revised 990 Regulations

    Revised 990 Regulations

    November 5, 2011

    Authored by: Nathan Boyce

    Until recently, when an organization sought public charity status on its Form 1023 and received a favorable determination letter from the Internal Revenue Service recognizing it as exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Code, its public charity status (if granted) would be for a five-year “advance ruling period”. After this advance ruling period, the organization would make a separate filing to the IRS to establish public charity status based on satisfaction of one of the Support Tests. On September 7, 2011, final regulations were issued that change the timing and process of determining public charity status.  A brief description of the changes can be read here.

    The attorneys of Bryan Cave LLP make this site available to you only for the educational purposes of imparting general information and a general understanding of the law. This site does not offer specific legal advice. Your use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Bryan Cave LLP or any of its attorneys. Do not use this site as a substitute for specific legal advice from a licensed attorney. Much of the information on this site is based upon preliminary discussions in the absence of definitive advice or policy statements and therefore may change as soon as more definitive advice is available. Please review our full disclaimer.