As described by the Rehmann Group's BWD Express publication, a recent Tax Court case involving David and Veronica Durden upheld an IRS disallowance of the deduction. The problems:
- The church's January 2008 letter acknowledging the 2007 gifts did not include the required statement as to whether the taxpayer received anything of value in return for the gift.
- After this deficiency was pointed out by the IRS, a letter sent by the church in 2009 including the required language was not considered because it was not sent "contemporaneously" with the gift. Under the regulations, the letter (with the required statements) needs to be sent by the date that the taxpayer files his return, or is required to file his return, to be considered contemporaneous.