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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Keep those tax records


The next time you toss dollar bills into the church collection plate, you might want to ask the usher for a receipt.

Federal rules for the 2007 tax year, which took effect Jan. 1, do not allow deductions for charitable donations unless the taxpayer can prove the donation through receipts or other official financial documentation.

The rules, enforced by the Internal Revenue Service, require people who claim charitable donations to back up those claims with canceled checks; records from banks, credit card companies or credit unions; or written substantiation from the charity or nonprofit institution.

The changes shouldn’t affect the giving habits of people who already donate in church-provided envelopes, with checks or over the Internet. They can substantiate their contributions with records from the church, bank or credit card company and give them to their accountant.


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