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Love Offering or Donation

There is a member of my church who gives to our pastor each week. Should she be using "love offering" or "donation" to Pastor in order for her to claim it on her taxes at the end of the year?

The checks are made out to the church but in the note area of the check it is intended for the Pastor.

Do I count this in with the offering each week, deposit it, and then turn around and write a check from the ministry account to the Pastor for the amount giving for him?


Comments for Love Offering or Donation

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May 07, 2013
Donation Not Deductible
by: Vickey

It doesn't matter if she uses the wording "love offering" or "donation".
Donations to an individual are not tax deductible.
See this article; Gifts to an Individual

Even if the check is made out to the church...if it has been designated for a love offering to an individual either in the memo line or verbally, you cannot issue a charitable contribution receipt for it and the donor should be informed that their generous gift is not tax deductible.

Yes, the check should be recorded in the church records and deposited and then a church check can be issued for the pastor...but be aware that amount must then be included in the Pastor's W-2.

May 08, 2013
money to individuals
by: Sandi

also because it is income to the pastor you have to be careful not to cause private benefit issues. The church has set a salary and anything over that must be justified.
The money can go towards the churches commitment, but should not go over it.
If salary is low on comparisons the church can always have a policy to state money given to pastor up to $___ is authorized. This still does not make money designated to individuals deductible and is still income for pastor.

We encourage people to give directly to individuals and not go through the church. There are many ways for people wishing to remain anonymous to give without using the church.

Hope this helps, Prayers

May 13, 2013
Love Offerings on 1099 Misc
by: Anonymous

I have a similar situation....

Our church issues monthly Love Offerings to our preachers (they are not employee,they are not on salary, and their compensation are from the church Love Offerings and medical insurance allowance).

Do church needs to issue 1099-Misc for the Love Offerings and medical insurance allowance to preachers if amounts are over $600 ?

Thanks for your time,
Bless in Christ.

May 13, 2013
pastor income
by: Sandi

A Pastor does not have to be "salaried" to be an employee see:
and IRS Pub 15 series, 517, & 17

also look to the left and scroll down to clergy/minister-employee or independent contractor

Hope this helps

May 14, 2013
Cap on Income
by: Vickey

Sandi brought out 3 very important points.

One is the importance of correctly classifying workers. Here is a good article on that:
Classifying Employees Correctly

Two: No matter how you classify your pastor, the love offerings and medical allowance should be considered taxable income and be reported either in a W-2 or 1099.

Three: To prevent the IRS from hollering private inurement you should put a cap on the amount he can receive in a year.

Example: in the salary agreement you could state that this individual's salary will consist of a set amount of $???? and a medical allowance of $???, plus love offerings not to exceed $??? annually.

This agreement would need to be approved by the Church Board annually and a copy of the agreement would need to be included in those recorded board minutes.

Jul 21, 2013
by: Anonymous

I am thinking about singing for "love offerings" We are financially struggling right now and I thought this might help. Do you think this is ok?

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