“Information Returns” for Donors

President’s proposal sparks outcry.

Church Law and Tax 1992-05-01 Recent Developments

Church Reporting Obligations

As noted in a separate article in this newsletter, the President’s initial tax proposals submitted to Congress in January contained a provision requiring charities (including churches) to issue annual information returns to donors who contribute more than $500 in cash or property. This proposal generated a firestorm of opposition, and was quickly dropped from the President’s proposal and was not contained in the House bill that presented the President’s plan. Significantly, the Democratic alternative did not contain this proposal. The idea is now dead. To make sure that it stays dead, we encourage readers to call the White House “opinion line” at 1-202-456-1111. State that you are a minister or church leader, and that you are opposed to the President’s proposal to require churches and other charities to issue “information returns” to donors who contribute more than $500. If several thousand clergy and church leaders call the White House opinion line, we are convinced that the President will get the message. Let us repeat—there is no requirement that churches issue “information returns” (a 1099 or any other IRS form) to any member or donor who makes contributes to the church. Given the outcry that the President’s proposal generated, we do not believe there ever will be such a requirement.

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