Contribution to church denied deductibility for inadequate receipt

Howard Friedman, Religion Clause

In Durden v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, (T.C., May 17, 2012), the U.S. Tax Court denied a $25,171 tax deduction for contributions to the Nevertheless Community Church made in 2007 by David and Veronda Durden. While the taxpayers produced records of their contributions, including canceled checks, the IRS denied the deduction for failure to comply with Sec. 170 of the Internal Revenue Code.  That section, and regulations under it, require an acknowledgement of the contribution from the charity dated before the return was filed or due. The acknowledgement must indicate the amount contributed and whether the charitable organization provided any goods or services in return for the contribution.  Taxpayers had an acknowledgement from the Church dated January 2008 (before their return was filed), but the acknowledgement failed to indicate whether goods or services had been provided.  They also had a second acknowledgement that did indicate no goods and services were provided, but that acknowledgement was dated June 2009 (after their return had been filed). [Thanks to Steven H. Sholk for the lead.]