Donee Information Return
Dispositions of donated property.
If an organization receives charitable deduction property
and within 2 years sells, exchanges, or disposes of the
property, the organization must file Form 8282, Donee
Information Return. However, an organization is not required to
file Form 8282 if :
- The property is valued at $500 or less, or
- The property is distributed for charitable purposes.
Form 8282 must be filed within 125 days after the disposition. A
copy of Form 8282 must be given to the previous donor. If the
organization fails to file the required information return, penalties
Charitable deduction property.
This is any property (other than money or publicly traded
securities) for which the donee organization signed an
appraisal summary or Form 8283, Noncash
Publicly traded securities.
These are securities for which market quotations are readily
available on an established securities market as of the date of the
If the value of the donated property exceeds $5,000, the donor must
get a qualified appraisal for contributions of property (other than
money or publicly traded securities). The donee organization is not a
qualified appraiser for the purpose of valuing the donated property.
For more information, get Publication 561, Determining the Value
of Donated Property.
For noncash donations over $5,000, the donor must attach Form 8283
to the tax return to support the charitable deduction. The donee must
sign Part IV of Section B, Form 8283 unless publicly traded securities
are donated. The person who signs for the donee must be an official
authorized to sign the donee's tax or information returns, or a person
specifically authorized to sign by that official. The signature does
not represent concurrence in the appraised value of the contributed
property. A signed acknowledgement represents receipt of the property
described on Form 8283 on the date specified on the form. The
signature also indicates knowledge of the information reporting
requirements on dispositions, as previously discussed. A copy of Form
8283 must be given to the donee.
Information Provided to Donors
A charitable organization must give a donor a disclosure statement
for a quid pro quo contribution over $75. A donor cannot deduct a
charitable contribution of $250 or more unless the donor has a written
acknowledgement from the charitable organization.
In certain circumstances, an organization may be able to meet both
of these requirements with the same written document.
Disclosure of Quid Pro Quo Contributions
A charitable organization must provide a written disclosure
statement to donors of a quid pro quo contribution over $75.
Quid pro quo contribution.
This is a payment a donor makes to a charity partly as a
contribution and partly for goods or services. For example, if a donor
gives a charity $100 and receives a concert ticket valued at $40, the
donor has made a quid pro quo contribution. In this example, the
charitable contribution part of the payment is $60. Even though the
deductible part of the payment is not more than $75, a disclosure
statement must be filed because the donor's payment (quid pro quo
contribution) is more than $75.
The required written disclosure statement must:
- Inform the donor that the amount of the contribution that is
deductible for federal income tax purposes is limited to the excess of
any money (and the value of any property other than money) contributed
by the donor over the fair market value of goods or services provided
by the charity, and
- Provide the donor with a good faith estimate of
the fair market value of the goods or services that the donor
The charity must furnish the statement in connection with
either the solicitation or the receipt of the quid pro quo
contribution. If the disclosure statement is furnished in connection
with a particular solicitation, it is not necessary for the
organization to provide another statement when it actually receives
No disclosure statement is required if any of the
following are true.
- The goods or services given to a donor have
insubstantial value as described in Revenue Procedure
90-12, in Cumulative Bulletin 1990-1, and Revenue
Procedure 92-49, in Cumulative Bulletin 1992-1.
- There is no donative element involved in a particular
transaction with a charity (for example, there is generally no
donative element involved in a visitor's purchase from a museum gift
- There is only an intangible religious benefit provided to
the donor. The intangible religious benefit must be provided to the
donor by an organization organized exclusively for religious purposes,
and must be of a type that generally is not sold in a commercial
transaction outside the donative context. For example, a donor who,
for a payment, is granted admission to a religious ceremony for which
there is no admission charge is provided an intangible religious
benefit. A donor is not provided intangible religious benefits for
payments made for tuition for education leading to a recognized
degree, travel services, or consumer goods.
- The donor makes a payment of $75 or less per year and
receives only annual membership benefits that consist of:
- Any rights or privileges (other than the right to purchase
tickets for college athletic events) that the taxpayer can exercise
often during the membership period, such as free or discounted
admissions or parking or preferred access to goods or services,
- Admission to events that are open only to members and the
cost per person of which is within the limits for low-cost articles
described in Revenue Procedure 90-12 (as adjusted for
Good faith estimate of fair market value.
An organization may use any reasonable method to estimate the fair
market value (FMV) of goods or services it provided to a donor, as
long as it applies the method in good faith.
The organization may estimate the FMV of goods or services that
generally are not commercially available by using the FMV of similar
or comparable goods or services. Goods or services may be similar or
comparable even if they do not have the unique qualities of the goods
or services being valued.
A charity provides a one-hour tennis lesson with a tennis
professional for the first $500 payment it receives. The tennis
professional provides one-hour lessons on a commercial basis for $100.
A good faith estimate of the lesson's FMV is $100.
For a payment of $50,000, a museum allows a donor to hold a private
event in a room of the museum. A good faith estimate of the FMV of the
right to hold the event in the museum can be made by using the cost of
renting a hotel ballroom with a capacity, amenities, and atmosphere
comparable to the museum room, even though the hotel ballroom lacks
the unique art displayed in the museum room. If the hotel ballroom
rents for $2,500, a good faith estimate of the FMV of the right to
hold the event in the museum is $2,500.
For a payment of $1,000, a charity provides an evening tour of a
museum conducted by a well-known artist. The artist does not provide
tours on a commercial basis. Tours of the museum normally are free to
the public. A good faith estimate of the FMV of the evening museum
tour is $0 even though it is conducted by the artist.
Penalty for failure to disclose.
A penalty is imposed on a charity that does not make the required
disclosure of a quid pro quo contribution of more than $75. The
penalty is $10 per contribution, not to exceed $5,000 per fundraising
event or mailing. The charity can avoid the penalty if it can show
that the failure was due to reasonable cause.
Acknowledgement of Charitable Contributions of $250 or More
A donor can deduct a charitable contribution of $250 or more only
if the donor has a written acknowledgement from the charitable
organization. The donor must get the acknowledgement by the earlier
- The date the donor files the original return for the year
the contribution is made, or
- The due date, including extensions, for filing the
The donor is responsible for requesting and obtaining the
written acknowledgement from the donee.
Quid pro quo contribution.
If the donee provides goods or services to the donor in exchange
for the contribution (a quid pro quo contribution), the
acknowledgement must include a good faith estimate of the value of the
goods or services. See Disclosure of Quid Pro Quo Contributions,
Form of acknowledgement.
Although there is no prescribed format for the written
acknowledgement, it must provide enough information to substantiate
the amount of the contribution. For more information, get IRS
Publication 1771, Charitable Contributions - Substantiation
and Disclosure Requirements.
Report of Cash Received
An exempt organization that receives, in the course of its
activities, more than $10,000 cash in one transaction (or 2 or more
related transactions) that is not a charitable contribution, must
report the transaction to the IRS on Form 8300, Report
of Cash Payments Over $10,000 Received in a Trade or Business.
Public Inspection of Exemption Applications, Annual Returns, and Political Organization Reporting Forms
The following rules apply to private foundations as well as other
tax-exempt organizations. Private foundations filing annual returns on
or after March 13, 2000, are subject to the public disclosure
requirements under section 6104(d) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Included in this section is a discussion on the public inspection
requirements for political organizations filing Forms 8871 and 8872.
An exempt organization must make available for public inspection,
upon request and without charge, a copy of its original and amended
annual information returns. Each information return must be made
available from the date it is required to be filed (determined without
regard to any extensions), or is actually filed, whichever is later.
An original return does not have to be made available if more than 3
years have passed from the date the return was required to be filed
(including any extensions) or was filed, whichever is later. An
amended return does not have to be made available if more than 3 years
have passed from the date it was filed.
An annual information return includes an exact copy of the return
(Form 990, 990-EZ, 990-BL, 990-PF, or 1065), and
amended return if any, and all schedules, attachments, and supporting
documents filed with the IRS. It does not include Schedule A of Form
990-BL, Form 990-T, Schedule K-1 of Form 1065, or
Form 1120-POL. In the case of a tax-exempt organization other
than a private foundation, an annual information return does not
include the names and addresses of contributors to the organization.
An exempt organization must also make available for public
inspection without charge its application for tax-exempt status. An
application for tax exemption includes the application form (such as
Form 1023 or 1024), all documents and statements the IRS requires the
organization to file with the form, any statement or other supporting
document submitted by an organization in support of its application,
and any letter or other document issued by the IRS concerning the
application.It does not include:
- Any application from an organization that is not yet
recognized as exempt,
- Any material that is required to be withheld from public
inspection, see Material required to be withheld from public
- In the case of a tax-exempt organization other than a
private foundation, the names and addresses of contributors to the
- Any applications filed before July 15, 1987, if the
organization did not have a copy of the application on July 15,
If there is no prescribed application form, see section
301.6104(d)-1(b)(3)(ii) of the regulations for a list of the
documents that must be made available.
Material required to be withheld from public inspection.
Material that is required to be withheld from public inspection
- Trade secrets, patents, processes, styles of work, or
apparatus for which withholding was requested and granted,
- National defense material,
- Unfavorable rulings or determination letters issued in
response to applications for tax exemption,
- Rulings or determination letters revoking or modifying a
favorable determination letter,
- Technical advice memoranda relating to a disapproved
application for tax exemption or the revocation or modification of a
favorable determination letter,
- Any letter or document filed with or issued by the IRS
relating to whether a proposed or accomplished transaction is a
prohibited transaction under section 503,
- Any letter or document filed with or issued by the IRS
relating to an organization's status as an organization described in
section 509(a) or 4942(j)(3), unless the letter or document relates to
the organization's application for tax exemption, and
- Any other letter or document filed with or issued by the IRS
which, although it relates to an organization's tax-exempt status as
an organization described in section 501(c) or 501(d), does not relate
to that organization's application for tax exemption.
Time, place, and manner restrictions.
The annual returns and exemption application must be made available
for inspection, without charge, at the organization's principal,
regional, and district offices during regular business hours. The
organization may have an employee present during inspection, but must
allow the individual to take notes freely and to photocopy at no
charge if the individual provides the photocopying equipment.
Generally, regional and district offices are those that have paid
employees who together are normally paid at least 120 hours a week.
If the organization does not maintain a permanent office, it must
make its application for tax exemption and its annual information
returns available for inspection at a reasonable location of its
choice. It must permit public inspection within a reasonable amount of
time after receiving a request for inspection (normally not more than
2 weeks) and at a reasonable time of day. At its option, it may mail,
within 2 weeks of receiving the request, a copy of its application for
tax exemption and annual information returns to the requester in lieu
of allowing an inspection. The organization may charge the requester
for copying and actual postage costs only if the requester consents to
An organization that has a permanent office, but has no office
hours or very limited hours during certain times of the year, must
make its documents available during those periods when office hours
are limited or not available as though it were an organization without
a permanent office.
An exempt organization also must provide a copy of all, or any
specific part or schedule, of its three most recent annual information
returns and/or exemption application to anyone who requests a copy
either in person or in writing at its principal, regional or district
office during regular business hours. If the individual made the
request in person, the copy must be provided on the same business day
the request is made unless there are unusual circumstances. Unusual
circumstances are defined in section 301.6104(d)-1(d)(1)(ii) of
The organization must honor a written request for a copy of
documents or specific parts or schedules of documents that are
required to be disclosed. However, this rule only applies if the
- Is addressed to the exempt organization's principal,
regional, or district office,
- Is sent to that address by mail, electronic mail (e-mail),
facsimile (fax), or a private delivery service approved by the IRS,
- Gives the address to where the copy of the document should
The organization must mail the copy within 30 days from the date it
receives the request. The organization may request payment in advance
and must then provide the copies within 30 days from the date it
Fees for copies.
The organization may charge a reasonable fee for providing copies.
It can charge no more for the copies than the per page rate the IRS
charges for providing copies. That rate is stated in section
601.702(f)(5)(iv)(B) of the regulations. (As of June 2001, the rate
was $1.00 for the first page and 15 cents for each additional page.)
The organization can also charge the actual postage costs it pays to
provide the copies.
Regional and district offices.
Generally, the same rules regarding public inspection and providing
copies of applications and annual returns that apply to a principal
office of an exempt organization also apply to its regional and
district offices. However, a regional or district office is not
required to make its annual information return available for
inspection or to provide copies until 30 days after the date the
return is required to be filed (including any extensions) or is
actually filed, whichever is later.
Local and subordinate organizations.
A local or subordinate organization is an exempt organization that
did not file its own application for tax exemption because it is
covered by a group exemption letter. Generally, a local or subordinate
organization of an exempt organization must, upon request, make
available for public inspection, or provide copies of:
- The application submitted to the IRS by the central or
parent organization to obtain the group exemption letter, and
- Those documents which were submitted by the central or
parent organization to include the local or subordinate organization
in the group exemption letter.
However, if the central or parent organization submits to the
IRS a list or directory of local or subordinate organizations covered
by the group exemption letter, the local or subordinate organization
is required to provide only the application for the group exemption
ruling and the pages of the list or directory that specifically refer
The local or subordinate organization must permit public inspection
or comply with a request for copies made in person, within a
reasonable amount of time (normally not more than 2 weeks) after
receiving a request made in person for public inspection or copies and
at a reasonable time of day. In lieu of allowing an inspection, the
local or subordinate organization may mail a copy of the applicable
documents to the person requesting inspection within the same time
period. In that case, the organization may charge the requester for
copying and actual postage costs only if the requester consents to the
charge. If the local or subordinate organization receives a written
request for a copy of its application for exemption, it must fulfill
the request in the time and manner specified earlier.
The requester has the option of requesting from the central or
parent organization, at its principal office, inspection or copies of
the application for group exemption and the material submitted by the
central or parent organization to include a local or subordinate
organization in the group ruling. If the central or parent
organization submits to the IRS a list or directory of local or
subordinate organizations covered by the group exemption letter, it
must make the list or directory available for public inspection, but
it is required to provide copies only of those pages of the list or
directory that refer to particular local or subordinate organizations
specified by the requester. The central or parent organization must
fulfill such requests in the time and manner specified earlier.
A local or subordinate organization that does not file its own
annual information return (because it is affiliated with a central or
parent organization that files a group return) must, upon request,
make available for public inspection, or provide copies of, the group
returns filed by the central or parent organization. However, if the
group return includes separate schedules for each local or subordinate
organization included in the group return, the local or subordinate
organization receiving the request may omit any schedules relating
only to other organizations included in the group return. The local or
subordinate organization must permit public inspection, or comply with
a request for copies made in person, within a reasonable amount of
time (normally not more than 2 weeks) after receiving a request made
in person for public inspection or copies and at a reasonable time of
In lieu of allowing an inspection, the local or subordinate
organization may mail a copy of the applicable documents to the person
requesting inspection within the same time period. In this case, the
organization can charge the requester for copying and actual postage
costs only if the requester consents to the charge. If the local or
subordinate organization receives a written request for a copy of its
annual information return, it must fulfill the request by providing a
copy of the group return in the time and manner specified earlier. The
requester has the option of requesting from the central or parent
organization, at its principal office, inspection or copies of group
returns filed by the central or parent organization. The central or
parent organization must fulfill such requests in the time and manner
If an organization fails to comply, it may be liable for a penalty.
See Penalties, later.
Making applications and returns widely available.
An exempt organization does not have to comply with requests for
copies of its annual returns or exemption application if it makes them
widely available. However, making these documents widely available
does not relieve the organization from making its documents available
for public inspection.
The organization can make its application and returns widely
available by posting the application and returns on a World Wide Web
page. For the rules to follow so that the Internet posting will be
considered widely available, see section 301.6104(d)-2(b) of the
If the organization has made its application for tax exemption
and/or annual returns widely available, it must inform any individual
requesting a copy where the documents are available, including the
address on the World Wide Web, if applicable. If the request is made
in person, the notice must be provided immediately. If the request is
made in writing, the notice must be provided within 7 days.
If the tax-exempt organization is the subject of a harassment
campaign, the organization may not have to fulfill requests for
information. For more information, see section 301.6104(d)-3 of
Political organization reporting forms.
Forms 8871 and 8872 (discussed earlier under Reporting
Requirements for a Political Organization) are open to public
Form 8871 (including any supporting papers) and any letter or other
document the IRS issues with regard to Form 8871 is open to public
inspection at the IRS in Washington, DC. Copies of Form 8871 that have
been filed are available at the IRS Internet web site and are
considered widely available as long as the organization provides the
IRS web site address to the person making the request. In addition,
the organization must make a copy of these materials available for
public inspection during regular business hours at the organization's
principal office and at each of its regional or district offices
having at least 3 paid employees.
Form 8872 (including Schedules A and B) is open to public
inspection. Copies of Form 8872 that have been filed are available at
the IRS web site and are considered widely available as long as the
organization provides the IRS web site address to the person making
the request. In addition, the organization is required to make a copy
of this form available for public inspection during regular business
hours at the organization's principal office and at each of its
regional or district offices having at least 3 paid employees.
The penalty for failure to allow public inspection of annual
returns is $20 for each day the failure continues. The maximum penalty
on all persons for failures involving any one return is $10,000.
The penalty for failure to allow public inspection of exemption
applications is $20 for each day the failure continues.
The penalty for willful failure to allow public inspection of a
return or exemption application is $5,000 for each return or
application. The penalty also applies to a willful failure to provide
The penalty for failure to allow public inspection of a political
organization's section 527 notice (Form 8871) is $20 for each day the
The penalty for failure to allow public inspection of a section 527
organization's contributions and expenditures report (Form 8872) is
$20 for each day the failure continues. The maximum penalty on all
persons for failures involving any one report is $10,000.
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