The Court has Spoken, the Letter of the Law has Trumped Reason


A practical update on charitable contributions

In an earlier Pottscast ™, we related some of the rules that the law imposes in order to be able to deduct a charitable contribution. One of those rules is that for contributions exceeding $250, the giver must obtain from the charitable organization a “contemporaneous written acknowledgment containing the amount of the contribution and other required information concerning the terms of the gift.”

In a decision handed down in 2012, in Durden v. Commissioner, the Tax Court ruled that Mr. and Mrs. Durden, of Texas, were not entitled to deduct the $22,517 they contributed to their church, Nevertheless Community Church (NCC).The IRS ruled that the Durdens, although they had provided records of their contributions, including copies of canceled checks and a letter from NCC dated January 10, 2008, which acknowledged contributions from them during 2007 totaling $22,517, were not entitled to the deduction.