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Nonprofit Law/Tax deductions to charitable organization


Jane Doe, a member of a bridge group, gathers up money from other members and sends in a contribution to a 501(c)3 organization using her check/credit card. She states to the nonprofit that the gift is from the bridge club, and the nonprofit receipts it as such.  When tax time comes around Ms. Doe wants a new receipt from the organization that she gave the gift, can she do this?

I have in my profile that this free forum is only for general questions relating to IRS federal exemption issues of 501(c)(3) organizations. If Jane Doe informed the members of the bridge club that she was going to give the donation to the 501(c)(3) organization on behalf of the club, then she can not unilaterally change the identity of the donor. In fact, she was under a legal obligation to pass through the donation to the 501(c)(3) organization for the club.

The IRS in 2002 became concerned about allowing deductions for
money given to non-charitable organizations for charitable
organizations and published a memo about Agency.

On page 16 they have
---Start of Excerpt--
 A contribution made to an EO's [Exempt Organization's] agent is
considered received by the EO.  Thus, in Rev. Rul. 55-192, 1955-1
C.B. 294, the portion of membership dues of a social club earmarked
for distribution to qualified charities was a deductible charitable
contribution when paid to the club treasurer, where the treasurer
was designated by the charities as their agent.  If the treasurer
had not been designated by a charity to act as its agent, he would
be considered the agent of the contributor, and contributions would
be deductible only in the tax year actually transferred to the
---End of Excerpt--

They continued:
---Start of Excerpt--

The IRS Revenue Rule 85-184, 1985-2 C.B. 8, held that utility
customers, who paid additional amounts on their utility bills to a
utility company acting as agent for a charity that assisted
individuals with emergency energy needs, were entitled to a
charitable deduction for the additional amounts in the year paid.
The charity established the program and made an agreement with the
utility designating it as the charity's agent for collecting
contributions.  The utility bill solicited contributions.  Amounts
collected were segregated from other utility funds and transferred
to the charity on a weekly basis.  The utility did not exercise
dominion or control over the charitable funds and did not draw upon
them to cover expenses incurred in connection with the program.
The Service reasoned that the utility acted as the charity's
collection agent and exercised no control over donations.
---End of Excerpt--- on page 16.

In your example, Jane Doe was the agent for the club.

Harvey Mechanic, Attorney at Law -

P.S. This response is intended to be a general statement of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship.  

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Harvey Mechanic


DO NOT GIVE ME INFORMATION THAT YOU WANT KEPT CONFIDENTIAL. I am an attorney and I volunteer time to answer general questions about U.S. Federal income tax issues of nonprofit 501(c)(3) public charities only. Those questions could be about establishing and maintaining legal requirements for such non-profit organizations in the United States, including Internal Revenue service filings and requirements. I will not be working on this free forum to answer questions about Nonprofit's possible unrelated or for-profit businesses or how to fill out forms. This forum is only for general questions about federal tax law, not as the law applies to your specific situation. If you do not make your question public then I will not be spending much of my donated time on answers that would not benefit the public. If you have other questions, please contact me at I will reply from my email. In any case, do not reveal confidential information to me until after I have contracted with you to provide personal legal services. My responses on this forum are intended to be general statements of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice, and do not create an attorney/client relationship. For me to consider your individual situation and how the law applies, I would need to gather extensive information about the situation. To search my previous answers you can do a Google search by "" without the quotes and then add your search terms before hitting enter.


I have been practicing law and especially the law of nonprofit organizations since 1990 when I was admitted to the New York Bar and I have maintained my status with the Bar since that time.


B.S. Columbia University in New York City, 1970

J.D. (Law Degree) Brooklyn Law School, 1990 -- Cum Laude.

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