The GuideStar Blog retired September 9, 2019. We invite you to visit its replacement, the Candid Blog. You’re also welcome to browse or search the GuideStar Blog archives. Onward!

GuideStar Blog

Q&A: What are the current IRS gift acknowledgement guidelines?

Giving season is upon us, so this seems like a good time to review these guidelines. Organizations that do not follow these guidelines can be fined $10 per donation, up to $5,000 per fundraising event or mailing. In any case, it shows lousy business sense not to acknowledge gifts (think of it as a thank you note); further, donors generally cannot deduct gifts of $250 or more on their tax returns unless they receive an acknowledgement from the organization.

IRS Reports on 2011 Activities and Its Plans for 2012


The latest report on the activities and plans for the Exempt Organizations (EO) section of the Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division of the IRS provides some insight into what's ahead for nonprofits—good to know if your organization is in a group targeted for scrutiny. EO director Lois Lerner outlines accomplishments in fiscal year (FY) 2011 and previews plans for FY 2012 in the 12-page report. It is worth reading to get an understanding of EO's priorities, but below are some highlights.

What the IRS’ Automatic Revocations Mean For You


In an extremely important development to the nonprofit sector, the IRS recently posted the initial IRS Nonfiler Revocation List on its website. The list names approximately 275,000 nonprofits that have lost their tax exemptions for failure to file an annual return, fundamentally changing the size and scope of the sector and finally giving us an accurate picture of the sector’s influence.

How Will the IRS Assess Penalties Against Nonprofits?


IRS Updates, Oct. 2009: Form 990/990-EZ Resources, Online Training, & Fees for App

The IRS has recently made new online resources available to nonprofits:

Do You Plan on Making an Online Donation This Giving Season?


Excess Benefit Rules Provide Way to Avoid Penalty Tax