Skip to main content

Church Members Carrying Money to Foreign Mission Agency

Question:

Members of a local church recently went on a mission trip. Part of the purpose of their trip was to carry a sum of cash to a foreign mission agency for use in its mission. This amount was donated by the home church of the members. The individuals paid for their own expenses so that the entire donated amount was given to the mission agency for use in the field. Does the church need to issue Form 1099’s to the individuals?

Answer:

No, the church does not need to issue Form 1099-MISC’s to the individuals since the church, in effect, donated the money to another tax exempt organization. However, the church should receive documentation from the mission acknowledging receipt of the money. This ensures that all of the money was used by the foreign mission agency, and not by the individuals to cover travel expenses.

Some ministries provide cash to volunteers for foreign travel. Careful documentation of personal travel, local transportation, meals and lodging expenses must be required of these volunteers. Further, any excess funds must be returned to the church. Without these two conditions, the amounts represent taxable income, and would then need to be reported on a Form 1099-MISC.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Housing Allowance and Form 1099-MISC Reporting

Question:A church provides its minister a housing allowance but believes it must report the full amount of compensation (including the non-taxable housing allowance portion) on Form 1099-MISC in order to demonstrate the full earnings of the minister. (Starting in 2020, Form 1099-MISC is replaced with Form 1099-NEC for non-employee compensation.)If the church reports his compensation, including the housing allowance, on the Form 1099-NEC as taxable income, will he be able to deduct his housing expenses somewhere else on the Form 1040?Answer:This question brings up a couple of issues. First, most ministers are properly classified as employees who receive Form W-2, not as independent contractors who receive Form 1099-NEC. Box 1 on Form W-2 reports taxable compensation. It is reduced to reflect the church's designation of a portion of his pay as non-taxable housing. Then, in Box 14 (Other), Form W-2 typically reports as a memorandum item his additional non-taxable, housing allowance c…

Debits and Credits for Designated Gifts

Question:A church is setting up QuickBooks for its accounting, but its personnel have little experience with fund accounting. What are the entries for the receipt and disbursement of designated gifts and the opening balances?Answer:We recommend that most churches that do not need to present financial statements in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) observe the following steps. Even those churches that do report using GAAP can employ these methods but must make some adjustments when preparing their financial statements.What we will demonstrate relates to what most churches call "designated gifts" (CPAs call these Temporarily Restricted gifts). These are gifts that donors contribute with the intention that the church will spend the funds as they direct. Most churches do not receive "endowment gifts" in which donors prohibit the expenditure of the core gift (CPAs call these Permanently Restricted gifts). Only earnings on the subsequent inv…

Rental of a Church Parsonage to a Non-Minister

Question:A church owns a parsonage, but the pastor does not use it as he owns his own home. The church rents the parsonage to a tenant other than a minister or employee of the church. Will the church be responsible for paying income tax on these monies as Unrelated Business Income (filing a Form 990-T) even if the money is used to carry on the business of the church? Answer:Whether the money is used for church purposes is irrelevant. IRS Publication 598 states:"If an exempt organization regularly carries on a trade or business not substantially related to its exempt purpose, except that it provides funds to carry out that purpose, the organization is subject to tax on its income from that unrelated trade or business."Fortunately, in the case of rental income from real property, such income is "excluded in computing unrelated business taxable income" (Publication 598). Caution: see content below regarding debt-financed property. However, a second concern not addresse…