Using Pastors Love offering to offset expenses

Can you use the funds collected for the Pastor's Love offering towards any expenses occurred leading up to Pastor's Appreciation Anniversary? Also can you write a check from the church's checking account to cover the Pastor's Birthday gift and then reimburse the amount after receiving a Love offering collection for the Pastor's Anniversary?

Comments for Using Pastors Love offering to offset expenses

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Oct 15, 2014
more love offerings
by: Anonymous

I'm not sure what you are asking exactly...
there really isn't such a thing as a love offering for a pastor (they are an employee) money given to them is considered income and goes in box 1 of their W-2.
the church should use money to go towards the salary, or if a policy is in place it can go over the salary up to whatever the amount the council has approved...
this includes money for anniversaries and birthdays and whatever other reasons collections are taken for the pastor...

All collections taken in a church are required to be on the account books.

Hope this helps, be sure to use the "search site" for more information

Prayers

Oct 18, 2014
love offerings must be reported as taxable income
by: Anonymous

Churches sometimes collect "love offerings" from the congregation for a pastor, intern, or other staff member in recognition of services rendered.

Such offerings must be reported as taxable income. If the recipient is an employee, the love offering should be added to his or her Form W-2. If the recipient is not an employee, the income should be reported on a Form 1099-MISC if $600 or more.
https://www.startchurch.com/blog/view/name/love-offerings-when-they-are-taxable-and-when-they-are-not

A reasonable basis exists for providing donors with a contribution receipt if [the church board pre-authorized the payment to the pastor, the church announced and collected the offering, checks were made out to the church, and the funds were reported as taxable income] to the pastor by the church (W-2 line 7).

Four Types of Love Gifts
The church may give love gifts in four circumstances: (1) to meet a benevolent need, (2) to compensate a visiting minister, (3) to compensate an employee, or (4) to bless a ministry. Each type of gift has rules that are specific to that type.
http://www.churchlawandtax.com/web/2013/march/following-rules-for-love-gifts.html

Oct 20, 2014
love offerings to employee
by: Anonymous

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p526.pdf

I disagree with the input that designated giving for love offering for a pastor (or other individual) is tax deductible for the giver.

A love offering taken for an individual does not qualify for a tax deduction.

If the donor wants to have a tax deduction they need to give to a general fund (like benevolence) where they do not have control over who receives the funds. If "Love offering" is set up correctly they could give to that however it can not be for a designated individual.

Also be very careful when giving more than the approved salary to employees (inurement and private benefit issues).

here is a IRS transcript for churches that lists (at the end) a list of IRS Pubs to help stay legal

Prayers

Oct 20, 2014
Church Control
by: Vickey

I think this is where "full church control" comes into play. In the Church & Clergy Tax Guide, Richard Hammer states "Members who contribute to special-occasion offerings pre-approved by the church-board ordinarily may deduct their contributions..."

This also answers the poster's original question regarding using funds to pay for expenses besides the actual love offerings...

If the church takes up an offering for a special event AND the church has full control of those funds to further the organization's tax-exempt purpose...the donations are usually considered to be a qualified charitable contribution.

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