Pastor

Continuing education for ministry leaders
Pastor
Weekly Lessons, created and written by Richard R. Hammar, J.D., LL.M., CPA, give you a basic legal overview of essential topics based on staff or volunteer positions within a church.

Previous Lessons

Week of August 25

Love Offerings

Week of September 1

Compensation: How Much?

This Week's LessonWeek of August 18

Special Occasion Gifts

Introduction

This lesson introduces the issue of Special Occasion Gifts. You can review the Executive Summary to obtain the key points or read the Weekly Lesson for a more thorough presentation of this topic. Start by completing the following interactive quiz to test your knowledge.

A church collects an offering from the congregation to commemorate the senior pastor's 25 years of service to the church. Donations are recorded as income by the church, and donors are given contribution credit. The church issues a check to the pastor in the amount of the offering. Is this amount taxable income to the pastor? Can donors deduct their contributions?

Weekly Quiz

Instructions Click on the correct answer for each of the following questions.

Executive Summary

It is common for pastors to receive gifts from their congregation on special days. Ordinarily, these gifts are funded through offerings collected from the congregation. Because the offerings are collected in recognition of some special occasion (such as Christmas, a birthday, or anniversary) many pastors and church treasurers assume that these offerings represent nontaxable "gifts." This assumption often is incorrect, since in most cases these offerings must be reported as taxable income. This lesson will help you to evaluate whether special occasion gifts you receive should be reported as taxable compensation, or as a nontaxable gift.

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