In September 2015, the IRS issued a proposed regulation that would have provided charitable organizations an alternative method for substantiating charitable donations. The proposed regulation was going to permit, but not require, charitable organizations to complete and file a new, optional form in order for a donor to receive a deduction. Under this new optional system, the proposed form would have required charitable organizations to report the name, address, and Social Security number or taxpayer identification number of all donors who gave $250 or more in any given year. This alternative method was proposed in order to help taxpayers who would lose their donation records and need help verifying their deductions.
After receiving public comments from lawmakers, organizations, and concerned citizens, the IRS scrapped the controversial plan on Jan. 7, 2016 due to the vast majority of the public comments strongly opposing the proposed regulation. The overwhelming public response was mainly due to the proposed regulation having a chilling effect on charitable giving due to potential charitable donors not wanting to expose themselves to the increased risk of identity theft. Charitable organizations would have also been strapped with additional costs to increase their cyber security in order to protect the required personal donor information from hackers.
While the proposed regulation was creating a system that was merely a voluntary option for charitable organizations, there was always the possibility that the IRS would have ultimately made this system a mandatory requirement for all charitable organizations at some point in time.
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