Financial and Tax Related Information About Cairn Rescue USA (CRUSA)

Cairn Rescue USA (CRUSA) is a 501c3 organization dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming Cairn Terrier dogs and mostly-Cairn mixes. As a 501c3 organization, it files annual reports on Form 990EZ with the IRS and is required to provide to the public upon request copies of its three most recent Forms 990EZs filed, or it may elect to publish those reports on its website in PDF format so that the public can download them. We have chosen to make the reports available on our website. Below are the links to our Forms 990EZ for calendar years 2020, 2021 and 2022.

To obtain a copy of our Form 1023 (Application for 501 c3 status) which is old, to obtain copies of our Forms 990EZ filed for years prior to 2020, or to obtain a copy of the letter from the IRS confirming our 501c3 status, please email us at TaxReturns@CairnRescueUSA.com. You may also email us at that same address if you are unable to download any PDF above (technical difficulties can happen with any website and we may not be aware of them) or for any tax-related questions or requests.

CRUSA does not engage and has never engaged professional fundraisers, fundraising counsel or commercial co-venturers to solicit contributions anywhere, and it does not receive and has never received government grants. CRUSA also does not conduct mail-in solicitations nor telephonic solicitations, and its total contributions from New York State, including residents, foundations, government agencies, etc. does not exceed, and in the past 10 years has never exceeded, $10,000 per year. As such, it is, and in at least the past 10 years has been, 7A-exempt.

We receive questions from our donors and supporters from time to time on the deductibility of donations made to us and expenses incurred by our volunteers in connection with rendering services to CRUSA, and the kind of proof donors and volunteers should retain to substantiate their donations. Below you will find answers to the most frequently asked questions we receive on these topics.

DISCLAIMER: By accessing this information, you agree to use it at your own risk, and acknowledge that while it is based on our understanding of current federal rules and regulations, we are not engaged in the business of rendering legal or accounting advice, we are not your counsel, and we neither guarantee nor assume any liability for the accuracy of the information provided or its fit to your particular tax situation. You should consult your own attorney and/or accountant to determine how the rules apply to your particular circumstances. More detailed information can also be found in IRS Publication 526 (Charitable Contributions) and IRS Publication 561 (Determining the Value of Donated Property) which can be downloaded from the IRS website.

Frequently Requested Information About the Deductibility of Donations Made to CRUSA,
Unreimbursed Expenses Incurred in Performing Services for CRUSA and
Appropriate Records To Keep To Substantiate the Samee

Cairn Rescue USA (CRUSA) is a tax-exempt, 501c3 organization, and therefore donations to CRUSA as well as unreimbursed expenses incurred by our volunteers in rendering services to CRUSA are generally tax-deductible to the extent that the donor or volunteer itemizes deductions on his/her income tax return or to the extent that the CARES Act and similar legislation allow taxpayers who do not itemize to take a charitable deduction.

Persons taking such charitable deductions are required by IRS regulations to keep records to prove the amount of contributions they made to 501c3 organizations like CRUSA during the year. The kind of records you must keep depends on the amount of your contributions and whether they are cash or non-cash (i.e. in-kind) contributions, and whether they are made in return for something or not (i.e. quid pro quo). The following summary is intended to answer the frequently asked questions that our donors and volunteers have regarding this topic.

Deductibility of Donations Made to CRUSA, Unreimbursed Expenses Incurred in Performing Services for CRUSA and Appropriate Records To Keep To Substantiate the Same

Cairn Rescue USA (CRUSA) is a tax-exempt, 501c3 organization, and therefore donations to CRUSA as well as unreimbursed expenses incurred by our volunteers in rendering services to CRUSA are generally tax-deductible to the extent that the donor or volunteer itemizes deductions on his/her income tax return. If you take the standard deduction on your income tax return, you will not be able to deduct your donations or incurred expenses.

Persons taking such charitable deductions are required by IRS regulations to keep records to prove the amount of contributions they made to 501 c3 organizations like CRUSA during the year. The kind of records you must keep depends on the amount of your contributions and whether they are cash or non-cash (i.e. in-kind) contributions, and whether they are made in return for something or not (i.e. quid pro quo).

Contributions Consisting of Services Rendered

Contributions consisting of services rendered to a 501 c3 organization are NOT deductible and we therefore cannot issue you a tax receipt. These would include legal services, accounting services, veterinary services and administrative services, among others. The logic behind this is that for the donation to be deductible, the phantom income would have to be recognized by the service provider. Depending on the service provider’s adjustable gross income for the year (AGI), that would result in either a wash (i.e. netting zero) or in the donor having to pay income tax.

Cash Contributions

Cash contributions include those paid by cash, check, credit card, paypal, venmo, zelle, ACH, or payroll deduction. They also include your out-of-pocket expenses incurred in rendering services to CRUSA. Cash contributions are generally deductible in the year they are made. A few additional rules apply to the deductibility of out-of-pocket expenses and these are explained below. For a contribution made in cash, the records you must keep depend on whether the contribution is (1) less than $250 or (2) $250 or more.

In figuring whether your contribution is $250 or more, you do NOT combine separate contributions. For example, if you give CRUSA a monthly contribution of $25, your monthly payments do not have to be combined. Each payment is a separate contribution. If contributions are made by payroll deduction, the deduction from each paycheck is treated as a separate contribution. If you made a payment that is partly for goods and services (i.e. a Quid Pro Quo donation, as explained below), your contribution is the amount of the payment that is more than the fair market value of the goods and services.

Cash Contributions of Less Than $250

For each cash contribution that is less than $250, you must keep ONE of the following:

    1. If the payment was made by check, credit card, paypal, venmo, zelle or ACH, either a canceled check, or a legible and readable account statement that shows:
      • If the payment was by check — the check number, amount, date posted, and to whom it was paid,
      • If the payment was charged to a credit card — the amount, transaction date, and to whom it was paid.
      • If the payment was by paypal, venmo or Zelle— the electronic receipt you get from paypal, venmo or Zelle.
      • If the payment was made through Facebook, the PayPal Giving Fund (and prior to October 31, 2023, the Facebook Foundation) will automatically issue you a receipt regardless of amount.
      • If the payment was made in cash or by ACH, a receipt (or a letter or other written communication) from CRUSA showing CRUSA’s name and the date and amount of your contribution.

For out-of-pocket expenses we can provide you with a signed Acknowledgment of the services rendered if you email us at TaxReturns@CairnRescueUSA.com. This is not necessary, but may give you better records to substantiate the deduction that you take on your tax returns.

Cash Contributions of $250 or More

For contributions of $250 or more, IRS rules require that you obtain a written acknowledgement of your contribution from the 501c3 organization (in our case, from CRUSA) or that you keep certain payroll deduction records if you made the contribution via payroll. If you make more than one contribution of $250 or more, you must have either a separate acknowledgement for each or one acknowledgement that shows your total contributions. The acknowledgment must indicate the amount contributed and the date the contribution was made, must contain a statement as to whether or not you received any goods or services as a result of your contribution (other than token items and intangible benefits), and if you did, it must contain a brief description of such goods/services and give you the charitys good faith estimate of their fair market value. If you are missing a receipt, you can email us at TaxReturns@CairnRescueUSA.com and tell us which receipt you are missing and we will either mail you a paper copy of your receipt (if you provide us your home address) or email you a PDF copy (if you provide us your email address). If you made your contribution by payroll deduction, you do not need a tax receipt from CRUSA. You would get the receipt from the payment processor that your employer uses which asks CRUSA to confirm that we do not provide goods or services in return for any contribution made to us by payroll deduction.

Out-Of-Pocket Expenses Incurred In Rendering Services To CRUSA

You may be able to deduct some amounts you pay in rendering services to CRUSA. These amounts are treated as cash donations but they do NOT have to be reflected in our books and/or financial results. Per IRS rules, the amounts must be:

  • Unreimbursed,
  • Directly connected with the services rendered,
  • Expenses you had only because of the services you gave, and
  • Not personal, living, or family expenses.

Examples include photocopying charges, office supplies, postage used to mail CRUSA packages or other CRUSA correspondence, dog supplies and dog food expenses incurred in fostering dogs for CRUSA, and certain travel expenses as further described below.

Travel & Car Expenses

Deductible travel expenses include unreimbursed out-of-pocket expenses for gas for your car when doing a dog transport, or taking your foster dog to the vet, and the cost of a hotel and meals if your travel involves driving long hours and you need to stay overnight to rest. It cannot include, however, general repair and maintenance expenses, depreciation, registration fees, or the costs of tires or car insurance. If you do not want to deduct your actual gas expenses, you can use a standard mileage rate of 14 cents a mile to figure your contribution. You can also deduct parking fees and tolls, whether you use your actual expenses or the standard mileage rate.

You should keep reliable written records of your car expenses and trips. Your records should show for each time you used your car for a charitable purpose, the name of the organization you were serving (in our case, CRUSA) and the date you rendered the service. If you use the standard mileage rate, your records should also show the miles you drove your car for the charitable purpose. If you deduct your actual expenses, your records should show the costs of operating the car that are directly related to the charitable purpose. We can send you an optional Acknowledgement that you can complete if you email us at TaxReturns@cairnrescueusa.com.

Costs Of Raffle Tickets, Bingo, Lottery, Etc.

Please note that with two exceptions, you CANNOT deduct as a charitable contribution the amounts that you pay to buy raffle or lottery tickets or to play bingo or other games of chance. What the charity chooses to call the ticket payment (donation or otherwise) is irrelevant. The two exceptions that would allow you to deduct the price paid for a raffle ticket as a charitable donation are (1) if you return the ticket to the charity before the raffle is held, or (2) if the charity has a Give Back The Prize option and you elect that as your prize at the time you purchase the ticket. If the charity mistakenly gives you a donation receipt for your raffle ticket purchase and you use it, and your return is later audited, the deduction that you have taken will be disallowed, potentially resulting in you having to restate your return and pay a penalty for the resulting underpayment. CRUSA does not conduct raffles, lotteries, games of bingo or other games of chance.

Quid Pro-Quo Donations

These are contributions where you get something worth more than $10 in return for your contribution. An example is a dog adoption donation, where you get the dog that you are adopting, or an auction bid, where you get the item being auctioned. 501c3 organizations like CRUSA generally must give you a written statement advising you that you may only deduct the amount in excess of the fair market value of the item that you received (remember that dogs are property under our legal system) and giving you the organization’s good faith estimate of that fair market value. The following are the donation amounts and fair market value estimates for dogs that we currently use:

Total Quid Pro Quo Amount due to CRUSA at time of Adoption
Dog’s Age or Characteristic:
Purebred Cairns under 6 months
$450
Purebred Cairns between 6 months and 1 year
$400
Purebred Cairns between 1 and 3 years
$350
Purebred Cairns between 4 and 7 years
$300
Purebred Cairns between 8 and 10 years
$250
Purebred Cairns over 10 years
$150
Special Needs
Varies
Mixes under 5 years
$250
Mixes between 5 years and 10 years
$200
Mixes over 10 years
$150
Microchip fee if dog was microchipped before arriving in CRUSA
$20
Microchip fee if dog was microchipped while in foster care with CRUSA
$45
Pediatric Neuter (if applicable)
$100
Fair Market Value of Dog
Dog’s Age or Characteristic:
Purebred Cairns under 6 months
$600
Purebred Cairns between 6 months and 1 year
$300
Purebred Cairns between 1 and 3 years
$250
Purebred Cairns between 4 and 7 years
$200
Purebred Cairns between 8 and 10 years
$150
Purebred Cairns over 10 years
$50
Special Needs
$50
Mixes under 5 years
$100
Mixes between 5 years and 10 years
$100
Mixes over 10 years
$50
Microchip fee if dog was microchipped before arriving in CRUSA
$0
Microchip fee if dog was microchipped while in foster care with CRUSA
$0
Pediatric Neuter (if applicable)
$0
Portion that is Tax Deductible Donation(i.e. amount over FMV of the dog)
Dog’s Age or Characteristic:
Purebred Cairns under 6 months
$0
Purebred Cairns between 6 months and 1 year
$100
Purebred Cairns between 1 and 3 years
$100
Purebred Cairns between 4 and 7 years
$100
Purebred Cairns between 8 and 10 years
$100
Purebred Cairns over 10 years
$100
Special Needs
Amount over $50
Mixes under 5 years
$150
Mixes between 5 years and 10 years
$100
Mixes over 10 years
$100
Microchip fee if dog was microchipped before arriving in CRUSA
$20
Microchip fee if dog was microchipped while in foster care with CRUSA
$45
Pediatric Neuter (if applicable)
$100

For auctions we do not provide receipts unless your bid clearly exceeds the fair market value of the item that you won. Arguably, if bids are close enough, your bid may be the fair market value of the item. If you believe that we should have provided you a receipt, please email us at TaxReceipts@CairnRescueUSA.com within 90 days of the date on which the auction ended.

Donations of Stocks and Other Securities

For shares of stock, you deduct the fair market value of the stock (or other security, e.g. Bonds) on the date you donate it. This is a tax efficient way to dispose of appreciated securities. For example, if you bought shars of Amazon at $1,000 and they are now worth $5,000, you can sell them and be taxes on the $4,000 gain or you can donate them to a 501c3 like CRUSA and get a $5,000 tax deduction (assuming that you itemize your deductions) to apply to your other income.

Non-Cash Contributions (In-Kind Contributions)

In figuring the amount of your in-kind donations, you DO combine your claimed deductions for all similar items of property donated to a particular charity (e.g. CRUSA) during the year. For example, if you donate 10 leashes, 10 collars and 10 harnesses per month to CRUSA, you would have to combine your donations for the year for a total of 120 leashes, 120 collars and 120 harnesses and use the fair market value of the 360 items to determine the amount of your in-kind contribution and the kind of records that you must then keep to substantiate your deduction. If you got goods or services in return for your contribution, it is a Quid Pro Quo Donation, and you must reduce your in-kind contribution by the value of those goods or services received.

Your in-kind donation receipt should include the name and address of the charitable organization (in our case, CRUSA), the date the charitable contribution was made, and a description of the property in detail reasonable under the circumstances. A letter or other written communication from the charitable organization acknowledging receipt of the contribution and containing this information will serve as a receipt. You are not required to have a receipt where it is impractical to get one (for example, if you leave property at a charity’s unattended drop site) but you should have other backup when you are claiming a deduction of more than $250. You must also keep record of the fair market value of the property at the time of the contribution and how you figured that fair market value. Please note that with the exception of vehicle donations where special rules apply, the charity does NOT set the fair market value of your in-kind contribution. That is for you and your accountants to determine in accordance with IRS rules. Generally, it is the lower of your acquisition cost and the item’s fair market value. For new items, you would generally use your acquisition cost, whereas for used items you may want to check Ebay for non-charitable sales of the same or similar used item and print the result of that auction as substantiation of the fair market value of the item you donated. For items that you make, the rules generally limit your deduction to your acquisition costs for the materials you used to make the item. Special rules apply to the donation of vehicles where your donation is limited to the amount that the charity sold the donated vehicle for, but at this time CRUSA does not accept vehicle donations. For items over $5,000, you must obtain a written appraisal of the donated property from a qualified appraiser. In addition, if you attach any special terms or conditions to the gift of property, your receipt (and the fair market value you assign to the property contributed) must also reflect that. As with cash receipts, the receipt must state whether the qualified organization gave you any goods or services as a result of your contribution (other than token items and intangible membership benefits).

You can request an in-kind donations receipt for items you donate for our auctions by writing to TaxReceipts@CairnRescueUSA.com and including a typed list of the donated items. We generally do not accept any other donated items except stocks and other securities.

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