Determine if contributions are effective for 2022 or 2023
The general rule is that a contribution is effective when delivered. A check deposited in the church offering in January of 2023 cannot be deducted in 2022, even if it is backdated to 2022. One exception—checks that are mailed and postmarked in 2022 are deductible in 2022, even if they are not received until 2023.
IRS Publication 526 offers these guidelines for three other types of giving (adapted):
- Text message. Contributions made by text message are deductible in the year the donor sends the text message if the contribution is charged to the telephone or wireless account.
- Credit card. Contributions charged on the donor’s bank credit card are deductible in the year the donor makes the charge.
- Pay-by-phone account. Contributions made through a pay-by-phone account are considered delivered on the date the financial institution pays the amount. This date should be shown on the statement the financial institution sends the donor.