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Q&A: Donated Goods and Charitable Statements

I occasionally have a church member who donates something the church needs. The member then gives me a receipt for the item purchased and asks me to put it on their giving statement. Is this allowed?

No, it cannot go on the member's cash contribution receipt because the member did not contribute cash. The member is allowed a noncash deduction for the fair market value of the item.

Instead of this approach, I suggest that the church reimburse the member in cash for the item. If the member chooses to endorse the check back to the church, then the member has made a cash contribution.

For more help with charitable contributions, including donated goods, check out chapter 8 of Richard Hammar's Church & Clergy Tax Guide.

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