Determining if a Charitable Donations Receipt Conforms to IRS Standards
The Internal Revenue Service does not require a specific form, structure or design for charitable donation receipts in order to qualify as proper documentation to support tax deductions. The tax agency is more concerned with the information that the receipt contains, which should include:
The name of the donor or the person granting the charitable contribution --- be likewise informed that authorized charitable institutions cannot be compelled to issue a receipt to person(s) other than the individual or company who donated the money, goods or services. A company or a trust administrator through their written authorizations, company checks or any document that directly links them to the donation, are eligible as named donors in donation receipts .
The date when the donation was made and the date when the receipt was issued; these are two distinct items and should be specifically stated as such.
The amount of cash received by the charitable or non-profit entity as donation;
If the donation was made in the form of goods or services, a description and an estimated worth based on good faith that it was the fair market value at the time of bestowal. In such cases, the recipient-institution and issuer of the charitable donation receipts will have to add the following statement:
(a) That the non-profit charitable organization did not furnish the donor any goods or services in exchange for the cash received. This is to eliminate any cloud of doubt regarding the transaction, which could be misconstrued as sale of goods or services in the guide of a donation.
(b) If part of the non-profit institutions’ program is to furnish the donor with goods or services for the cash contribution, there should be a statement that properly explains and describes the program.
(c) In addition, the statement shall specifically state the limit which the donor can claim as tax deduction. The said limit will be the excess of the cash donated over the good-faith-fair-market-value of the goods or services received by the donor.
To illustrate all these points, you can find a sample charitable donation receipt, which non-profit organizations holding 501(c)(3) status can also use as a template. Download the free, sample template at Bright Hub’s Media Gallery.