Is IRS Proposal Kiss Of Death For Charities?

Is IRS Proposal Kiss Of Death For Charities?

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Charities are saying “no way” to the Internal Revenue Service’s recently proposed new substantiation rules, which would include charities’ collecting and storing donor’s social security numbers. It’s a well-intentioned but misguided attempt by the IRS to help lax donors get tax receipts for charitable tax deductions, and comments are pouring in against it. “Asking donors for their SS[Social Security] numbers would be the kiss of death,” wrote one of the 12,000-plus commenters chiming in on the proposal.

“The proposal to add a potentially confusing parallel reporting regime that needlessly introduces the risks of fraud, identity theft, and decreased donations to the community should be rejected,” warns the National Council of Nonprofits in a position paper.

The proposed rules would permit a charity to file a special “information return” that a donor could use to substantiate a charitable contribution of $250 or more—in lieu of the standard letter charities issue acknowledging donations. The new form, which would be sent to the donor—and to the IRS–by February 28th of the year after the gift, would include the donor’s social security number, along with details of the gift.

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