Benevolence for Member's Auto Repair a "Luxury"?

We recently know of an elderly couple that asked for benevolence at their church to help repair the a/c unit in their car.

They were turned down because they were told a car a/c is considered a 'luxury' under the IRS regulations.

What are the rules for care repair/house repair to prevent loss of tax exemption status?

Comments for Benevolence for Member's Auto Repair a "Luxury"?

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Oct 19, 2019
Benevolence Guidelines and Tax Exemption Status
by: Vickey

First of all, let me state that churches can and should set up their own "benevolence guidelines" that outlines who, when, and how benevolence can be administrated.

Those guidelines should be written out and closely followed.

For tips on setting up those guidelines, see my Benevolence Fund Guideline page. Click on " "Resources" at the top of this page...then go to Contributions...then scroll down on that page to Benevolence Fund Guidelines.

Those guidelines should also strive to follow the IRS Publication 3833 guidelines; however, a church is not usually going to lose their tax exemption over giving someone benevolence that maybe should not have received it....although there is the possibility of improper benevolence payments being deemed income for the recipient.

I've read everything I can find on the IRS site and other authoritative sources and have not found anything regarding a car a/c or anything similar being considered a 'luxury' under the IRS regulations.

I live in humid OK ...so my church would probably consider a broken a/c for an elderly couple a health risk and if they meet the rest of the criteria in our benevolence guidelines ...we would probably help ...

BUT

again...it would all depend on the church or nonprofit's written guidelines.

Some churches may have a small amount of benevolence funds and have to be strict on who gets assistance as they just can't help everyone =(

My heart goes out to that couple tho...pray someone steps up and helps them =(

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