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No. If one of your church supporters files their federal income tax return before receiving a charitable gift acknowledgment from your church, they are subject to having the charitable gift deductions denied by the IRS. In a recent Tax Court case, the IRS denied charitable gift deductions for gifts made to a church because the donor did not possess a charitable gift acknowledgment at the time of filing their tax return. The church subsequently provided an appropriately worded gift receipt but the Tax Court rejected it because it was not a contemporaneous acknowledgment. In other words, it had not been provided before the taxpayer filed their Federal tax return.

Dan Busby is a CPA and president of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA).