Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Monday, August 19, 2013

Article on Charitable Contributions


John H. Martin (Ella A. and Ernest H. Fisher Professor of Law at Pettit College of Law, Ohio Northern University) recently published an article entitled, A Primer on the Deduction, Valuation, and Substantiation of Charitable Contributions, 5 Est. Plan. & Cmty. Prop. L.J. 371 (Summer 2013).  Provided below is a portion of his introduction:

Federal gift and estate tax laws contain relatively few restrictions on outright contributions to charitable entities.  Under income tax laws, however, charitable deductions are subject to numerous restrictions.  Ceilings cap a taxpayer’s aggregate annual deduction.  Valuation rules govern the calculation of and may limit deductible amounts.  Parts I and II of this article primarily focus on those ceilings and value limitations.  Both income tax and transfer tax laws limit charitable deductions for contributions of partial interests to gifts made within a fixed number of highly restrictive formats. Accordingly, after ceilings and value reductions, Part III shifts to focus on the constraints peculiar to gifts of partial interests.  Part IV addresses contributions that are accompanied by a return economic benefit to the donor.  Finally, Part V describes the burden placed on the donor to substantiate a claimed contribution deduction.


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