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Thanking donors – Charities fall short on details

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Some nonprofit groups don’t follow tax rules requiring that they acknowledge contributions of $250 or more, The Wall Street Journal reports.

While many nonprofits know about the rule, some fail to state the amount of the gift, or whether the donor received goods or services in return.

“Charities are sometimes sending thank-you notes, but sometimes they’re not including the magic words,” New York lawyer Victoria B. Bjorklund told the Journal.

If the nonprofit fails to provide those details in a thank-you letter, she says, and the donor then is audited by the Internal Revenue Service, the donor could lose the deduction for the gift.

Donors should receive thank-you letters by the date they file their returns, or the due date, whichever comes first.

And if in return for a contribution of at least $75, a nonprofit gives a donor a gift, such as a basketball or opera tickets, the nonprofit should describe the gift and estimate its value, the Journal says.

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