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What to Do with a Nondeductible Donation

Best practices for church treasurers

What should church treasurers do when a member attempts to contribute a check for a specified benevolence recipient and it is clear that the contribution is not tax-deductible? A number of alternatives exist, including the following:

Refuse to accept the check. This is the conclusion reached by the IRS in Publication 3833, which states, "Donors cannot earmark contributions to a charitable organization for a particular individual or family." Church treasurers should keep this example in mind when church members want to make contributions to the church for the benefit of a specific needy person or family. Since such contributions are not tax-deductible by the donor, the church should not receive them.

Note that a contribution can be earmarked for a specified individual without that person's name being identified on a donor's check. Common examples include the following: (1) an offering is collected ...

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Posted:
  • January 20, 2014

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