Q. Are donations/contributions made to USACE tax deductible?
A. Charitable contributions to governmental units are tax-deductible under section 170(c)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code if made for a public purpose. If a donor requests tax advice, explain that the Corps does not provide tax advice. If a contributor asks for tax information, the Corps representative should ask the contributor to consult their tax advisor. If requested, a letter of receipt should be furnished to contributor to verify their charitable contribution. The letter should not attempt to value non-cash contributions.
Q. What is a contribution?
A. Contributions which are within current authorities, consistent with the Corps mission, and are for work items contained in an approved annual or five-year Operation Management Plan may be accepted in accordance with Chapter 3 of EP 1130-2-550. Only contributions which result in the sharing of operation and management costs and /or in the development of activities which will not result in a significant net increase in O&M costs shall be considered for approval. See Engineer Regulations ER 1130-2-500 Chapter 11, Contributions Program
Q. What is a Contribution Plan?
A. A contributions plan describes the work that will be accomplished with any potential contributions that are received. Contributions supplement budget allocations as another means to accomplish approved work. In conjunction with describing the general nature or categories of work to be accomplished, the plan also addresses the following: general procedures and methods for receiving and accounting for monetary contributions; methods for providing recognition to contributors and acknowledging public support; and designation of the individual responsible for assuring overall proper management and administration of the contributions program.
Q. What type of information is required for record keeping?
A. For record keeping purposes, the value of materials and equipment should be determined using the local market value of comparable items for purchase.
Q. What language about contributions needs to be included in a project OMP?
A. "It is the policy of the Corps of Engineers that contributions to provide for operation and management of recreation facilities and protection and restoration of natural resources at civil works water resource projects shall be accepted and used, as provided by PL 102-580, Water Resources Development Act, 1992 (106 Stat. 4838, 33 United states Code (USC) 2328, Section 203). Contributions which are within current authorities, consistent with the Corps mission, and are for work items contained in an approved annual or five-year Operational Management Plan may be accepted."
Q. How long are Contribution Plans good for? Do they expire every 5 years with the OMP, or when there is a change in leadership?
A. Contributions Plans do not expire or change with leadership. However, project level Contributions Plans should be reviewed for any necessary updates every 5 years along with the OMP. For District level Contributions Plans, the District Partnership Program Manager should periodically review the Plan for update.
Q. What are the approval levels for accepting contributions?
A. See Chart for guidance
Q. Can permanent salaries be funded through contributions?
A. Contributions may be used to fund salaries of term or temporary Corps employees. Contributions may not be used to fund the creation of a permanent full-time employee (FTE) or wholly fund the annual salary for a full-time permanent position. However, contributed funds may be used to create a funded work item for work on a project by permanent employees, such as project design work, to conduct environmental reviews and planning studies, and pay for administrative support of partnership projects.