Discussion:Will IRS acknowledge contribution? Whaddya think?

From TaxAlmanac, A Free Online Resource for Tax Professionals
Note: You are using this website at your own risk, subject to our Disclaimer and Website Use and Contribution Terms.

From TaxAlmanac

Jump to: navigation, search

Discussion Forum Index --> General Chat --> Will IRS acknowledge contribution? Whaddya think?


Spell Czech (talk|edits) said:

23 November 2013
I've got a friend who wants to take his IRS refund check and endorse it "Pay to the order of the United States of America" and send it to the US Treasury with a cover letter saying that he's making a contribution to America and thanking them for providing oh, whatever they've provided him recently.

Question: Do you think the Treasury will acknowledge this contribution with a letter that satisfies the requirements of Section 170? Namely, will the Treasury - can the Treasury be expected to, or can they be prompted to - recite that nothing of value was provided as quid pro quo for the taxpayer's contribution, as required by law for my friend's charitable contribution to our country to be allowed as a deduction?

Anybody ever see this?
Anybody ever see this work?
Anybody ever see this *not* work?

MWPXYZ (talk|edits) said:

23 November 2013
"thanking them for providing oh, whatever they've provided him recently. "

Does the note, noting the above, reduce the value of the contribution?

Spell Czech (talk|edits) said:

23 November 2013
"...reduce the value of the contribution?" In no way. The check is for $613.87 and that's its value with or without the "note, noting the above." Let's say the thank you is - in the donor's mind and only in the donor's mind - for the interstate highways built and maintained by the government.

Nilodop (talk|edits) said:

23 November 2013
To your last three questions, no, no, no.

As to the right way for the friend to make the contribution, search a thread I started within roughly the past year when my name was still Podolin. It was about contributing to the USA by not claiming tax benefits to which one is entitled. I got shot down pretty harshly by a frequent poster, can't remember his ID, but his first name is Chris.

And, in shooting me down, he refers to the only (in his view) way to donate to the USA.

Having beat around the bush so far, my more substantive answer is that your friend will, in fact, receive the requisite 170(f)(8) acknowledgment (if his gift is at least $250), provided he does the gift the "right" way.

As to whatever they provided him recently, it was not quid pro quo for anything.

Also, he needs to make sure his gift is "...made for exclusively public purposes." [Sec 170(c)(1)].

Nilodop (talk|edits) said:

23 November 2013
https://www.pay.gov/paygov/forms/formInstance.html?agencyFormId=23779454

Spell Czech (talk|edits) said:

24 November 2013
You mean I'm gonna have to tell my friend that the U.S. Treasury won't accept its own check as a contribution? That website seems like it's electronic or not at all, paper checks not allowed. Am I seeing this right?

Nilodop (talk|edits) said:

24 November 2013
Paper checks are ok. See http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/resources/faq/faq_publicdebt.htm#DebtFinance

But I'd be less confident about getting the required acknowledgment. Not sure why, just how I feel.

The link refers to a donor's check. I'd be less confident that they'd properly handle it with an endorsed refund check.

I can't quickly find my earlier post (TA no longer gives me access to Podolin's contributions, and my search yielded zilch), but my idea was even whackier than yours. I'd file with standard deduction, then figure the lower tax had I taken itemized deductions, then claim the difference as a donation. Lack of acknowledgment is the least of the problems with that approach.

Assuming yours is a real live situation, exactly what is the problem with depositing their check and writing a new check?

Spell Czech (talk|edits) said:

24 November 2013
"Real live situations" I usually describe as client-taxpayers rather than drinking buddie-friends. Although I can see there might be some overlap. The more creative and unusual the tax situation the more likely it arose in my bartender's mind...

Indeed, this question about endorsing the refund check back to the government arose when a friend bought me a drink and tried to get me to tell him that the *interest* in the refund would not be taxable if he didn't accept the check. And then he bought me another drink and tried to get me to tell him what would happen - hypothetically, of course - if he took the check to the liquor check and cashed it, and then claimed it had been stolen and forged.

After a third drink, we stumbled on the idea of sending the check back to the IRS.

After the fourth drink, all I could say was "Take the money, pay the tax." Then he stopped buying.

To join in on this discussion, you must first log in.
Personal tools