Q&A: Does a Gift to Support a Camp Counselor Have Tax Implications?

If a payment of $600 or more is intended to help cover the student’s expenses, then it is reported on the student’s Form 1099-NEC.

Q: A college student from our church will be a volunteer counselor at a Christian camp this summer. Our church will give the camp $600 from our mission budget and give him $900 from the mission budget as a gift for his service. He is not an employee of the church. Is there a tax reporting requirement for this gift?

The amount paid directly to the student is considered mission support for the student’s activities. Mission support of individuals is required to be reported on Form 1099-NEC if it is $600 or more.

The amount paid to the camp might be reported, depending on the intention of the payment. If the payment is intended to help cover the student’s expenses, then it is reported on the student’s Form 1099-NEC issued by the church along with the $900. If the amount is intended to be a contribution to the camp, unrelated to the student’s service, then it is not reported on the student’s Form 1099-NEC issued by the church.

For additional information on the proper use of Form 1099-NEC, see chapter 4 in Elaine Sommerville’s book, Church Compensation.

Elaine L. Sommerville is licensed as a certified public accountant by the State of Texas. She has worked in public accounting since 1985.

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