Internal Revenue Service United States Department of the Treasury
Level Basic Advanced Military International

Itemized Deductions

Gifts to Charity

Records for Charitable Contributions

Taxpayers must keep records to prove the amounts of cash and noncash contributions they make during the year. Report cash, check, and noncash contributions on Schedule A, line 16 and 17 respectively.

For each contribution, tell taxpayers they cannot deduct a cash contribution, regardless of the amount, unless one of the following records of the contribution is kept:

  • A bank record, such as a canceled check, a copy of the canceled check, or a bank statement containing the name of the charity, the date, and the amount
  • A written communication from the charity, which includes the name of the charity, date of the contribution, and amount of the contribution

For unreimbursed expenses related to donated services, the taxpayer must have:

  • Adequate records of the expenses
  • Written acknowledgment from the organization and a description of the taxpayer's services

Only out-of-pocket expenses that are directly related to the donated services can be deducted. The value of time or services donated cannot be deducted.

Tip

See Publication 17, Contributions, for the rules applicable to out-of-pocket expenses incurred when rendering services to a qualifying organization.