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New IRS Rule Re Charitable Deductions

The IRS has made a change in tax regulations governing deductions for contributions to charitable organizations, such as Dignity. Currently, a contribution of more than $250 is deductible only if the taxpayer has in hand a receipt when he or she files a tax return on which a charitable deduction is claimed for the contribution; but starting with tax year 2007 (with tax returns due in April 2008), a receipt will be required regardless of the amount of the contribution. Although Dignity/Los Angeles each year gives a receipt for the total verified contributions made by a member, amounts given in a manner that is unverifiable (such as cash placed in the collection basket at liturgies) cannot be included. Those who wish to preserve their ability to deduct their total contributions may wish to consider using the annual pledge drive as their principal means of contributing to the chapter and then satisfying their pledges by check, so that a verifiable total can be computed and a receipt given to the member at the end of the year in time for the tax-return season.