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Charitable Giving Receipt with Donor Advised Fund Question

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  • Charitable Giving Receipt with Donor Advised Fund Question

    I opened a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) mid-year and switched the source of recurring contributions to charities from checking account to the DAF. One of the charities provided a receipt showing all payments throughout the year as coming from me (the others did not). I did not mark myself as anonymous and let the charities see that I was the DAF account owner. I talked to the charity and they said they do not distinguish between DAF giving and personal giving when sending out receipts. This just seems wrong and an easy way for people to accidentally overclaim their charitable contribution amounts. QUESTION: Is this a common thing in your experience or is this particular charity just not very sophisticated?

  • #2
    Unfortunately it's a pretty common thing (and very inconvenient to deal with). You just have to be honest and only deduct the donations you made outside of the DAF; have proof of those deductions (in the form of credit card receipts, bank statements, or cancelled checks) if the IRS comes knocking.

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    • #3
      It's your responsibility to not double claim your deductions.
      Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

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      • #4
        Thanks for the feedback, artemis +WCI. I will of course make sure my taxes are correct and I wasn't trying to imply anything other than that was going to happen. I was just surprised at the lack of sophistication and concern exhibited by the charity and was curious if this was a common occurrence.

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        • #5
          I’m not surprised. A donation from Joe Smith or Joe Smith DAF is the equivalent in their eyes. I would think that many charitable organizations especially the smaller ones are thinly staffed so meeting the minimal reporting requirements is all I really expect.

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          • #6
            I got them from about half the charities this year but they were all from small charities with all volunteer staff.

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            • #7
              From the charity standpoint, they are attributing DAF and personal to you. The only option is to ask the charity to set a separate account, DAF and personal. They might be able to do that. Like write the personal account number on the check.

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              • #8
                I have been doing this for 15 years. Earlier in my experience, almost everyone sent a receipt as if you donated cash. Over time, with more people using a DAF, this has changed. Today, the more established, larger, and national charities are less likely to send you a receipt as if you made a cash contribution. The smaller, local and less sophisticated charities are more likely to send a receipt as if you made a cash contribution.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by VagabondMD View Post
                  Today, the more established, larger, and national charities are less likely to send you a receipt as if you made a cash contribution.
                  i’ve also seen a few of those larger charities send me a thank you letter that explicitly says that my donation came via my donor advised fund. That’s nice, because it means I can distinguish that from any donation I made with cash.
                  But the easiest way to distinguish it is to simply make all donations via the donor advised fund, and then there was no question how the money reached the charity. If that is what the OP is planning to do, and I suspect that it is, this is a one time problem for him.

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                  • #10
                    Thought I'd put a bow on this by letting you know that the charity reached out and let me know that my question had generated some internal discussion and they're updating + improving their processes to protect donors from accidentally over-stating their donations. Good to hear as I like the work this group does.

                    And yes, as VagbondMD states it is easiest + best if 100% of the donations come from the DAF. This should hopefully be a 1-year thing for me as the DAF was just opened early this year.

                    Thanks again for everyone's input.

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