If an IRA contribution is postmarked December yet deposited in January should it be attributed to the new year? Consequently, if a regular check contribution is postmarked December and deposited in January will that qualify for a 2022 receipt? If both are yes, I'd like to understand why the difference.
We just tell the donor when we processed the gift. We don't give them an IRS gift date (and that isn't required by IRS 1771). Heck, some postmarks are so fuzzy (or missing entirely) that you can't use them.
For Qualified Charitable Distributions from an IRA, the key difference is not driven by how the postmark date translates into your system. For donors making a donation from the IRA, the IRA custodian will send the IRS a 1099-R and the reported date of the distribution will be the date the funds actually left the IRA. The date you use in your system and in a gift receipt will be irrelevant in the eyes of the IRS. This could be particularly troublesome if a person has an IRA checkbook, writes a check, and you get it on the last few days of the year, or first days of the new year, because the funds likely won't leave the IRA account until the new year.
Since penalties for not taking a Required Minimum Distribution are very steep, it's a good idea to have as part of your year-end appeal, an advisory related to this with guidance on when to get IRA distribution checks to you to ensure the funds clear, by December 31st.
Hope that helps,
Director of Gifts and Records Administration
Advancement and Alumni Relations
George Mason University
4400 University Drive, MSN 1A3
Fairfax, VA 22030
This electronic message contains confidential information which is, in whole or in part,
subject to exclusion from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act pursuant to
§2.2-3705.4.7. of the Code of Virginia.