Asked, Answered: Are Gift Cards Really Just Gifts?

Gift cards are a simple yet powerful way of blessing others. But there are some very real tax strings attached.

It’s a common question we field here at Church Law & Tax—are the gift cards we’re giving to our pastor, or lay minister, or volunteer, really just gifts?

Gift cards are a natural expression of the sort of love Christ commands we show to one another. They are a simple way of saying “thank you” for serving.

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We’ve tackled this topic here, here, and here.

So has Elaine Sommerville, starting on page 165 of Church Compensation—From Strategic Plan to Compliance. Pick up a copy today.

Meanwhile, as Matt Branaugh explains, a gift card does carry weight with the Internal Revenue Service. And there’s a good chance they’re taxable income for employees:

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