Provide a Notice to Donors
Now is a good time to give contributors this important filing information.
Provide a Notice to Donors

Donors should be advised in the church bulletin or newsletter, on the church website, or in a letter from the church, not to file their federal income tax return before they receive their contribution summary from the church. Donors may not be able to deduct individual contributions of $250 or more if they file a tax return before receiving a contribution summary from their church.

“The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act makes deductions available to fewer donors because of a substantial increase in the standard deduction,” explains CPA and attorney Richard Hammar in the May/June 2018 issue of Church Law & Tax Report. Even so, it’s still important to notify all donors, attorney and CPA Frank Sommerville stressed, because churches simply don’t know who might qualify for a deduction. It’s also a tried-and-true best practice for churches.

Answer many of your members’ questions about charitable giving and tax law with the 2019 Charitable Contributions Bulletin Inserts (for their 2018 returns). For one of your upcoming services, place copies in your church bulletins or worship guides.

This article is adapted from “Mastering Fifteen End-of-Year Tasks” in the November 2018 issue of Church Finance Today.

This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is published with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations."

Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.

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