Annual Contributions - Non-Charitable

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
ewaldjw
New Member
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:11 am

Annual Contributions - Non-Charitable

Postby ewaldjw » Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:19 am

Our stake is building a new pavilion and members have the opportunity to donate to help build it. I had one member come in with their Annual Charitable Cash Contributions form and I saw that the amount that was contributed to the new pavilion was counted as non-charitable on the TYD donations summary for 2013. How do I fix this? Is there a setting that I need to change for the pavilion to make it charitable? I'm a new clerk and didn't add the pavilion account and the old clerk is in Afghanistan... Thanks.

User avatar
aebrown
Community Administrator
Posts: 14693
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:48 pm
Location: Sandy, Utah

Re: Annual Contributions - Non-Charitable

Postby aebrown » Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:47 am

From what you said, I'm confident that these donations were deposited into a subcategory of "Other:Authorized Member Financed Activities". As far as the Church is concerned, all donations to AMFA are not charitable donations. They are considered payments for goods or services received. Now I can tell from your description that this is not how these donors looked on these donations, and that's certainly understandable.

But the fact remains that there is no charitable donation category that you could possibly put these donations in. The categories that the Church considers to be charitable donations are almost all swept automatically to Church headquarters -- the local ward or stake then has no control over those funds. The only exception to that is Ward Missionary, and clearly that category has very specific uses and tight restrictions on how it can be used.

So the bottom line is that there is no way through Church accounting to issue a charitable donation receipt for such donations. The members are welcome to consult their tax adviser as to whether they can still claim deductions, but that will have to be their judgment.

russellhltn
Community Administrator
Posts: 20767
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: U.S.

Re: Annual Contributions - Non-Charitable

Postby russellhltn » Sun Mar 30, 2014 11:15 am

I don't know as there is a way to do this. You can call Local Unit Support. Perhaps there's something they can do on their end to set up a building fund.
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

User avatar
gregwanderson
Senior Member
Posts: 696
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:34 pm
Location: Huntsville, UT, USA

Re: Annual Contributions - Non-Charitable

Postby gregwanderson » Sun Mar 30, 2014 1:43 pm

I question the propriety of asking members to donate money to a local, stake building project in the first place. Even if it was okay (someone with access to handbooks would need to confirm that) the fact remains that MLS cannot process such donations as charitable anyway. It sounds like both the Stake leadership and the donors did not understand the non-charitable nature of this project before money was given/received. Ouch!

lajackson
Community Moderators
Posts: 6144
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:27 pm
Location: US

Re: Annual Contributions - Non-Charitable

Postby lajackson » Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:14 pm

This is not an official Church response. Use this information at your own risk. Consult your tax adviser for further assistance.

There is no way in MLS to show that a contribution for pavilion construction is a charitable deduction.

Our stake received instructions that the members were not to be asked for pavilion construction funds. Our stake was told to pay for the pavilion out of the stake budget allocation. Since that represented more than 25% of our annual allocation, and our stake is relatively new with no accumulated budget surplus or contingency, our stake was not able to do that. We were given another option that I will not mention here and to which our stake president would not agree.

I have dozens of emails on this subject going back and forth from the stake to the FM Group to the Construction Manager to the Building Department and return (which I also will not share here).

It would have been very nice to have discussed this subject up front and not after the stake had committed to having the pavilion built.

Our stake president signed a receipt for each donor showing that the member had contributed to the Church building fund.

russellhltn
Community Administrator
Posts: 20767
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: U.S.

Re: Annual Contributions - Non-Charitable

Postby russellhltn » Sun Mar 30, 2014 9:26 pm

mrrad wrote:I question the propriety of asking members to donate money to a local, stake building project in the first place.

It does seem questionable. The handbook refers such issues to Facilities Management Guidelines for Meetinghouses and Other Church Property. On page 9, it says:
Church members may help defray the cost of maintenance, repairs, or improvements to recreational camp properties by donating labor, materials, or the use of equipment. Church leaders should not use special fundraising events to pay expenses related to recreational camp improvements.

This could come down to interpretation of "event".


mrrad wrote:the fact remains that MLS cannot process such donations as charitable anyway.

I believe there are some special categories of "other" that are charitable contributions. Things like temple building fund, general building fund, etc. But local units do not have the ability to set up chartable categories. Local Unit Support might be able to set one up.

Ultimately, I see this as the stake's problem. ewaldjw needs to ask his stake what to do since there is no way he can create or change a "local" "other" account into a charitable contribution account. Any instructions or approvals needed have to come from stake leadership to CHQ, not from the clerks. lajackson has indicated one possible way it could be solved.
Have you searched the Wiki?

Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.


Return to “MLS Support, Help, and Feedback”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest