Are love offering given by a congregation taxable to an individual and a deductible contribution to the members?

by Jim
(Benton, AR)

An employee's husband committed suicide and the church took up a love offering at the next church service. Checks were made out to the church,which deposited the checks and cash given with the family name on it and then wrote the spouse a check. Is this money a deduction for the individual writing the check and does it require a 1099 the next year to the spouse receiving the money?

Comments for Are love offering given by a congregation taxable to an individual and a deductible contribution to the members?

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Jan 24, 2013
donations received
by: Sandi

according to IRS Pub 526:Contributions to Individuals:

You cannot deduct contributions to specific individuals, including the following.

Contributions to individuals who are needy or worthy. This includes contributions to a qualified organization if you indicate that your contribution is for a specific person. But you can deduct a contribution that you give to a qualified organization that in turn helps needy or worthy individuals if you do not indicate that your contribution is for a specific person.

Example. You can deduct contributions for flood relief, hurricane relief, or other disaster relief to a qualified organization. However, you cannot deduct contributions earmarked for relief of a particular individual or family.

Payments to a member of the clergy that can be spent as he or she wishes, such as for personal expenses.

Expenses you paid for another person who provided services to a qualified organization.

Example. Your son does missionary work. You pay his expenses. You cannot claim a deduction for your son's unreimbursed expenses related to his contribution of services.

Payments to a hospital that are for a specific patient's care or for services for a specific patient. You cannot deduct these payments even if the hospital is operated by a city, state, or other qualified organization


Jan 24, 2013
death of spouse
by: Sandi

see IRS pub 15b De Minimis (Minimal) Benefits:

You can exclude the value of a de minimis benefit you provide to an employee from the employee's wages.

Examples of de minimis benefits include the following:

Group-term life insurance payable on the death of an employee's spouse or dependent if the face amount is not more than $2,000.

If the above does not apply the money received by the employee would be included on their W-2 box 1.


Apr 25, 2018
Same question
by: Anonymous

Hi Jim, I see you asked this question a few years ago. Did you find good guidance? I have the same question and these answers don't seem to be from the Church's perspective. Is a 1099 necessary? Thanks!

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