I have two questions regarding love offerings for our pastor and reimbursements.
1. I just read your answer about love gifts for pastors/individuals. Our church has taken the stand, based on info from Church Law Today publications, that any money for the pastor or a designated individual should never go through the church books.
If a gift for the pastor does come in made out to the church and we write a check to him, it is included on his W-2 at the end of the year.
Also, if our women's group asks that some of their funds be given to the pastor as a gift and I write the check to the pastor, we were under the impression that it is taxable because it also goes through the church books and has been recorded as tax exempt (it is all one bank account, but tracked as separate accounts on paper).
If I write a check to one of the officers of the group and they give the pastor cash, we do not count is as taxable income. We try to discourage gifts to individuals through the church books, but handle it as you stated if one does come in.
Our question is mainly about the pastor. We were under the impression that any money through the church account is taxable to him. (Gifts specifically for pastors or individuals are never recorded as tax exempt contributions which is as you stated.)
2. We have been having an issue as to whether or not certain reimbursements are personal or business.
When the pastor picks up or takes his missionary daughter to the airport, is it church business mileage or family business?
When a member of his family needs to go to the hospital and later is visited at the hospital/care home is it church or personal mileage?
Yes, these family members attend his church.
Also, when he or his wife gives the family member a ride to church because they can't drive themselves, is that church business mileage?
The pastor also gives another man who can't drive a ride. Neither of these is on his way to the church, they are specific trips to get them and return them home (30+ miles round trip).
Pastor's Love Offerings and Reimbursements -Part 2
I would like to clarify one part of my previous submission on Pastor's Love Offerings and Reimbursements:
I said "If I write a check to one of the officers of the group and they give the pastor cash,..."
When I have done this it is an authorized expenditure of this group that they voted on and then turned in on an authorized expenditure form asking for a certain amount of money from their account.
Sometimes I know it is for the pastor as well as other expenses. When they do this, they keep their own records of how it is spent so that they can show it was used properly for church business and I keep the authorized expense form showing how much was asked for and what expenses they expected to use the money for.
So in a way it is double recorded as to what the expenses are.
This group is a ladies' missions group, so most of it goes for missions either within the church or foreign missions. The check isn't really "to an officer of the group", it is to the group.
I suppose this is as clear as mud. My question now is, since I know that sometimes some of this money goes to the pastor through them and is church tax exempt money, do I need to keep track of what they give him and include it in his taxable income at the end of the year?