Do we need to keep the tithing envelopes?
by Kathy Butler
We are a small church and have small tithing envelopes that our congregation can choose to use to put their tithes in.
I was told by the retiring secretary that we needed to keep all the envelopes, she said she wasn't sure why, however. Not all of the people who give tithes put it in the tithe envelopes.
Some just put their checks in the offering plate. Some do give cash tithes and they put theirs in the tithe envelopes to be recorded under their name.
I record any loose check or those in the envelopes as giving on the person's giving records. I also record the cash in the tithe envelope.
My question is for IRS purposes or to keep everything legal and above board, am I supposed to keep those tithe envelopes, since not everyone uses one?Vickey's reply
Contribution envelopes are for the convenience of your church members. There is no law that I know of that states everyone must use a tithe envelope to give their contributions.
As far as how long to keep them...you want to keep them long enough to ensure that if there was a dispute on the exact amount donated you would have the envelopes to look back on.
According to Richard Hammar,an attorney, CPA: You should keep envelopes for at least 6 months after you issue your donors periodic (i.e., quarterly, semi-annual, or annual) summary of contributions, and include in this summary a statement similar to the following: "Any documentation, including offering envelopes, that the church relied upon in preparing this summary will be disposed of within six months. Therefore, please review this summary carefully, and inform the church treasurer of any apparent discrepancies within six months of the date of this summary."