The tax code requires churches that receive a donation of noncash property (other than publicly traded stock) valued by the donor at more than $5,000 to file an information return (Form 8282) with the IRS, and to provide a copy of the return to the donor, if the church sells, exchanges, or otherwise disposes of the donated property within 2 years after its receipt. A church must list its name, address, taxpayer identification number, and a description of the donated property on Form 8282. It also must list the donor’s social security number, the date the property was donated, and the amount received from the sale or other disposition of the property. The IRS recently addressed the question of the penalty, if any, that should be assessed against a church or other charity that does not list the donor’s social security number on Form 8282. It concluded that section 6721 of the tax code imposes a penalty in such a case of $50 for each return that does not contain a donor’s social security number. The IRS pointed out, however, that this penalty can be reduced to $30 per return if a return is filed with the correct information within 30 days following the due date of the return. Further, the instructions to Form 8282 state that the form does not have to be filled out completely if, for example, the information is not available to the church because it does not have the donor’s appraisal summary (Form 8283). IRS Letter Ruling 200101031.
Resource. The Form 8282 reporting requirement is explained fully on pages 316-319 of Richard Hammar’s 2001 Church and Clergy Tax Guide.
This content originally appeared in Church Treasurer Alert, April 2001.