allowable non-cash donation

A member bought food for a church social event, and wants us to give her a receipt for the amount she spent on food.

Is such an expense even deductible?

And, if yes, is it appropriate for the church to provide a tax-deduction statement for this amount?

Comments for allowable non-cash donation

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Jan 18, 2015
Noncash Donations
by: Vickey

It is a noncash contribution.

Click on the "Contribution" tab in the left column. Look at number 3 in the Donation Guidelines.

You CANNOT put an amount on the giving receipt.

Here is an example of a nocash contribution receipt:

Jan 18, 2015
allowable non-cash donation?
by: Lewis in NC

For additional clarity, this would need to be a big administratively approved banquet type meal where say the church is trying to raise money for a special project of the church; like say--a donor decides to pay the catering bill for; a letter could be written as described above.
If you take a covered dish to say 26 routine Wednesday socials, and you and/your family eat there it would not be deductible. The deductible amount that the donor writes on their Schedule A would have to be the excess of their personal benefits of the donation.

Jan 19, 2015
Size not the issue
by: DFry

This need not be a big catering-type event to justify a receipt. If the amount is small the donor can deduct without a receipt from the church if they can substantiate the expense and show receipts.
An easy way to make it simple for everyone is to reimburse those providing supplies and let them donate that amount - or however much they choose - to the church. This provides a clean audit trail for all.
Setting up a designated fund or a budget line item for these types of events can make the accounting simple and easy to track.

Jan 19, 2015
Great Posts!
by: Vickey

Thank you Lewis and DFry for your posts. You both are such a blessing to this site and its readers!

Lewis, I never even thought about someone asking for a contribution receipt for food brought to a church event like "Dinner on the Grounds" but the poster did say "church social event" so that could be the case. Good catch :)

DFry, I like your suggestion of how to handle those type of noncash donations!

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