Contribution Receipts – The Letter of the Law

David & Veronda Durden learned the hard way that the exact wording of the receipt from their church was of utmost importance when claiming a tax deduction. Because the church failed to include the words “No goods or services were provided in exchange” for their contributions, the IRS denied the deduction. The church provided a revised receipt, but it was too late. The receipt from the church must be provided prior to filing the tax return. The Durdens took the case to Tax Court, but on May 17, 2012, the court agreed with the IRS. The receipt was faulty and did not comply with IRC Section 170(f)(8) as contemporaneous substantiation of the contribution.
See the court ruling at