Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Then again, you could always use VISA

Loose offerings may become a thing of the past.

Here's the word according to the Master Tax Guide -- the book used by the person who prepares your taxes to determine just how much you owe the U.S. Government:
In tax years beginning after August 17, 2006, no deduction will be allowed for contributions of cash, checks or other monetary gifts, regardless of the amount, unless the donor maintains either: (1) a bank records or (2) a receipt, letter, or other written communication from the donee, indicating the donee's name and the contribution date and amount.
Now I'm not an expert on these things . . . but I'm pretty sure that, if you don't put your offering in an envelope, then you don't get a receipt from the church. And as of 17 August 2006, it looks as though no receipt means no deduction.

In short, you are no longer able to drop a couple of bills into the offering plate and then claim it as a donation to charity -- at least I don't think you can.

And if I'm right, then I suspect this will have a devastating effect on loose offerings (not to mention Sabbath School offerings, 13th-Sabbath offerings, offerings at Campmeeting, and all the rest).


trevan said...

We discussed this at board meeting because someone raised the issue with the children's story offering. We ended up making envelopes especially for the children's story offering where people write their names and give it to the kids. It's not the same as handing them a dollar bill but it works.

David said...

In Canada this is already the case. Loose offerings are not as big here as they are in the States. Some churches compensate by selling church "money" which is receipted when purchased and can be given by parents to children to put in the offering plate or for a lamb's offering.