January 29, 2010

Form 1099-MISC for Benevolent Gifts?


Does a church need to issue a Form 1099-MISC for the rent and medical bill payments it disbursed from its benevolence fund? A church may issue checks directly to the landlords and medical facilities of the individuals in its community who seek help during these difficult financial times. This gives it assurance that the money is being used for rent, medical bills, food, utilities, etc. as intended.


The instructions to Form 1099-MISC require non-profit organizations to report "only when payments are made in the course of your trade or business." These payments are not made in exchange for either 1) services provided by the recipient of benevolent gifts, or 2) services provided to the non-profit organization (the church). While I discovered no direct advice from the IRS on this subject, it seems reasonable that no Form 1099-MISC requirement applies. The benevolent payments are not "in the course of your trade or business." Further, had the individuals receiving the assistance been given the gifts and, then, made subsequent payments, no Form 1099-MISC requirement would have fallen upon them either.


  1. Thank you so much! Just was looking for an explanation and found your post!

  2. Thank you for this answer. Do you by any chance a code section or an official ruling where this stems from? We have people in our church who question this and I even heard some say that the amount given to those in need should be reported on 1099-C. I undertand it's not right, but it would be nice to be able to set the record straight with the official word.

  3. According to IRS Pub. 525, "In most cases, you must include in gross income everything you receive in payment for personal services." Since a recipient of benevolence provides no services, these gifts do not meet the definition of taxable income provided by the IRS.