Gift to Church Member

by Ginger

If a church gives a gift (one-time) to a member of the church for need based purposes, is that taxable? If the member is a deacon or another type of leader in the church does that make a difference? And if other deacons didn't receive a gift does that make a difference?

vickey's reply

According to Dan Busby, CPA, in his book: <Zondervan 2011 Church and Nonprofit Tax and Financial Guide...

Love offerings (gifts) to staff members from church or nonprofit funds are taxable....unless they meet one of the following exceptions:
• De minimis less than $25 in value. (Cash, gift cards, or other cash equivalents are not de minimis gifts, regardless of how small the value)
• Employee achievement awards...requires a written, nondiscriminatory award program, which provides awards either upon attaining longevity goals or safety standards and meets other requirements for type of gift and limits on amounts.
• Staff member is a church attendee...requires careful documentation to ensure that the employee would have received a benevolence payment, and in the same amount, if the individual had not been a staff member. *Note: Many churches adopt policies prohibiting the payment of benevolence funds to employees.

Comments for Gift to Church Member

Click here to add your own comments

Apr 06, 2010
additional question
by: Anonymous

What if the deacons or other church members are not technically paid staff members? Does that help plead the case if questioned?

Vickey's reply

I would just have careful documentation to ensure that the individual would have received a benevolence payment even if they had not been a deacon.

Jul 18, 2012
gift question
by: Vicky

If the church gives an ongoing gift to the deceased pastor's wife, would that gift be taxable? The church is very small and when the pastor died, they voted to give the amount they were paying as the pastor's salary to his widow. The widow is not a church employee.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Love Offerings.

If you want to DIY your payroll, I highly recommend you look at using Gusto! It is very user friendly and their support is awesome! Plus they know how to set up and maintain payrolls for churches and nonprofit organizations.

Note: I am a "partner" of Gusto, but as I have told you before ... I never recommend anything that we or our clients have not tried and love =)

Share this page:
Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.