Substantiating Contributions to Donor-Advised Funds

What requirements must our foundation follow for substantiating contributions to donor-advised funds?

To claim a charitable, gift or estate tax deduction for any contribution to a donor-advised fund, donors must obtain a contemporaneous written acknowledgement from the sponsoring organization that states: “The [insert name of charity] has exclusive legal control over the contributed assets.” This statement can be added to gift substantiation letters to donors.

This is in addition to the general substantiation requirements outlined in IRS Publication 1771, Charitable Contributions—Substantiation and Disclosure Requirements.

What is a contemporaneous written acknowledgment?

An acknowledgement is considered contemporaneous if it is received by the donor on or before the earlier of: (1) the date the donor files a return for the taxable year in which the contribution was made, or (2) the due date (including extensions) for filing the return.

Which donor-advised funds are eligible to receive contributions that qualify for a charitable deduction for income, gift and estate tax purposes?

Contributions to donor-advised funds at most Section 501(c)(3) public charities are eligible for charitable deductions. However, contributions to donor-advised funds held by Type III supporting organizations that are not functionally integrated are not eligible for charitable deductions.Additionally, contributions to donor-advised funds held at veterans’ organizations, fraternal societies, and cemetery corporations are not eligible for charitable deductions.


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Donor Advised Funds
Frequently asked questions about deductibility requirements for gifts to donor-advised funds.

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