The type of records you must keep to substantiate your donations generally depends on their amount and whether you are contributing cash or property.
~ A deduction is not allowed for a cash contribution, regardless of amount, unless you have a receipt or bank record to substantiate it. This includes donations made by check, credit card, electronic fund transfer, or gift card redeemable for cash. You need a cancelled check, bank copy of both sides of a cancelled check, electronic fund transfer receipt, monthly account statement, credit card statement, or written receipt (including e-mail) that shows the name of the organization and the date and amount of the contribution. Maintaining a diary or log is not sufficient substantiation. If you volunteer your services to a charity, you need similar records to substantiate a deduction for your out-of-pocket expenses of under $250 (14.4).
For a contribution of $250 or more, a cancelled check or receipt showing the name of the organization and the date and amount of your contribution is not enough. You must timely obtain a written acknowledgment from the charity, as described below.
For a contribution made by payroll deduction, you need to keep a pay stub, Form W-2, or other employer-furnished document showing the amount withheld as a donation, along with a pledge card or similar document from the charity. If the amount withheld from a single paycheck is $250 or ...