2009 donations counted in 2010

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
rexgj
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Postby rexgj » Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:50 pm

Your point is well taken. I agree, these deposits need to be placed in the correct year. Thanks for your help.

rexgj
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Postby rexgj » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:09 pm

Just some feedback. After your responses to my 2009-2010 tithing problem, I walked over to the church and called church finance. The process for correcting the problem is easy and straight forward:
1. Go into the Jan 2010 batch and delete all donations that belonged in Dec 2009.
2. Create a new batch dated Dec 31, 2009, and input those donations that belonged in that year.
3. Do a send and receive. Job is done.

RossEvans
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Postby RossEvans » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:14 pm

We have one 2009 check that was set aside and failed to make it into the retroactive "31 Dec 2009" batch of such donations that we sent two days ago. My plan has been to put that into a new batch with the same date.

Is that a correct solution? I seem to remember more than one batch per date before.

crislapi
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Postby crislapi » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:22 pm

boomerbubba wrote:We have one 2009 check that was set aside and failed to make it into the retroactive "31 Dec 2009" batch of such donations that we sent two days ago. My plan has been to put that into a new batch with the same date.

Is that a correct solution? I seem to remember more than one batch per date before.


You are correct. You can have more than one batch for any given date.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Tue Jan 05, 2010 5:01 pm

crislapi wrote:You are correct. You can have more than one batch for any given date.


And if you'd like a reference, see the Record Keeping FAQ, which says on page 35:

Question:
We just closed the donation batch and then received another donation. What should we do?

Answer:
Create a new batch.

greggo
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Postby greggo » Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:55 am

crislapi wrote:Sure, it's always only an issue if they get audited. However, the only form the IRS will accept is the Tax Statement printed from MLS (on Church letterhead) and signed by the Bishop. The only way a donation is included on the statement is if it is recorded in MLS in a batch dated in the corresponding year.

If a member itemizes deductions and claims their donations as charitable contributions, then the tax statement is supposed to be submitted along w/ the paperwork and W2s. If the amount on the tax statement does not match the amount claimed in the tax return, they will either decrease the claimed amount, ask for a new form, or audit.


Unless Crislapi is an IRS official, I don't think these statements are valid.

It's my understanding that the official bishop signed statement is not the only documentation that the IRS will accept (unless things have changed for 2009). According to statements I have received from my stake financial clerk (who is a tax attorney) and other church officials, the yellow copy of the donation slip and/or a canceled check may be acceptable. It's ultimately up to the auditor.

Also (again, unless something has changed for 2009), the tax statement is not normally submitted with one's tax return.

That being said; however, the church takes a conservative approach to these things and does not issue any statements on what is considered a charitable donation except for the official bishop signed statements (or similar statements from CHQ if paid in kind). If an individual wants to claim anything other than this on their tax return, they should consult with their tax adviser.

Of course, the intent of Crislapi's response is good. the donation batch should be corrected so that the tax statements are accurate.

eblood66
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Postby eblood66 » Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:37 am

Greggo wrote:Unless Crislapi is an IRS official, I don't think these statements are valid.

It's my understanding that the official bishop signed statement is not the only documentation that the IRS will accept (unless things have changed for 2009). According to statements I have received from my stake financial clerk (who is a tax attorney) and other church officials, the yellow copy of the donation slip and/or a canceled check may be acceptable. It's ultimately up to the auditor.
I can't say what an auditor might ultimately accept but according to http://www.irs.gov/publications/p526/ar02.html#en_US_publink1000229831 any cash donation of $250 or more needs a written acknowledgment from the receiving organization (although it does list special rules for payroll deductions). For smaller donations other records are acceptable.

Of course, anybody who has questions should read the IRS documentation themselves and/or consult a tax attorney or accountant (of which I'm neither). But obviously the church has an obligation to provide accurate acknowledgments if they want members to be able to deduct larger donations without trouble. As I clerk I wouldn't want to be partially responsible for someone getting a tax penalty because a deduction was disallowed in an audit due to faulty documentation.

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mlh78
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Postby mlh78 » Wed Jan 06, 2010 2:08 pm

Greggo wrote:
Also (again, unless something has changed for 2009), the tax statement is not normally submitted with one's tax return.



I am a tax attorney and can verify that the IRS does not require taxpayers to submit the tax statement with their returns. The statement should be retained for audit purposes.

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Postby lajackson » Wed Jan 06, 2010 9:52 pm

eblood66 wrote:I can't say what an auditor might ultimately accept but according to http://www.irs.gov/publications/p526/ar02.html#en_US_publink1000229831 any cash donation of $250 or more needs a written acknowledgment from the receiving organization (although it does list special rules for payroll deductions). For smaller donations other records are acceptable.

Of course, anybody who has questions should read the IRS documentation themselves and/or consult a tax attorney or accountant (of which I'm neither). But obviously the church has an obligation to provide accurate acknowledgments if they want members to be able to deduct larger donations without trouble. As I clerk I wouldn't want to be partially responsible for someone getting a tax penalty because a deduction was disallowed in an audit due to faulty documentation.


The rules changed beginning with US tax year 2007 for both the donor and the Church.

The Church is required to provide documentation for donations and can be penalized for failing to do so.

For charitable contributions of money, regardless of the amount,
the donor must maintain as a record of the contribution a bank record
(such as a cancelled check) or a written record from the charity.
The written record must include the name of the charity, date,
and amount of the contribution.

If the donation is $250 or more, the rule eblood66 mentions applies. The documentation has to have come from the charity.

Obviously, if the member does not itemize deductions, the member does not need any documentation, even though the Church still is required to provide it if the donation is over a certain amount. CHQ says any amount requires the giving of a statement to the member.

And Greggo is correct. The statement is not submitted with the tax return. It is retained by the taxpayer in case there is an audit. But, if there is an audit, the member will need to have it.


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