Special Occasion Gifts
Does our pastor have to claim his gift as taxable income?

Question:
We are having a special occasion program for two ministers at our church. If they receive money as a gift from members of the congregation, which would be collected in baskets on the tables and not counted on the offering table, would the ministers have to report this money on their taxes?

Answer:
Special occasion gifts pose several challenges for churches and for the ministers involved. All funds that are collected by the church are required to come under the control of the church. Therefore, if the church hosts a special occasion program, it is required to take possession of the funds that are given at the program and properly account for the funds. This requires the church to process the funds through its normal procedures. This requires the church to count the offerings and deposit the offerings. This is true in any setting that is a part of the church's activities including services that include an announcement of the special offering, funds collected individually by representatives of the church, i.e., the deacons and special parties hosted by the church.

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Posted:
December 21, 2009
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