Year-end Tithing and Donations recording

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cheerioboy
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Year-end Tithing and Donations recording

Postby cheerioboy » Sat Dec 28, 2013 1:12 pm

This covers instructions we sent out to all of our units, both to clerks and financial clerks, and all the bishopric members, for handling donations that arrive during the "in-between" time between the last Sunday of one year and the first Sunday of the following year, and how to handle the donations so they were appropriately recorded. Some individuals do only a one-time donation for tithing (for various reasons that aren't germane to this discussion), and it seemed only right that those donations should be appropriately recorded so any tax benefit to them would accrue correctly ... besides seeming to be the "right way to do things".

I looked for this topic in the clerk and record-keeping area, but couldn't find it, so I don't know if this topic has been covered elsewhere earlier, so I apologize in advance if my searches missed an already-covered topic and this new topic is not really "new".

I received the approval of our stake president before I sent this direction to the wards and branches in our stake, and am indebted to the the knowledgeable individuals who helped me get the details right (it had been a few years since I'd recorded a donation transaction). I should also state that I'm the stake clerk in our stake.

The date details in this are specific to this year (2013, soon to be 2014)

Brethren,

At the year-end, as you prepare the end-of-the-year close-out of the ward donations, there will be some donations received after the last Sunday, which this year is December 29th. There is a way to separate these into two deposits, which is appropriate for the donations, and considerate to the donors. When the next deposits are prepared, divide the donations into those that were received by (or postmarked by) the end of the year (through Dec 31st), and those received afterwards. Those that are postmarked or received by the 31st should be counted in the 2013 donations year. MLS is set up to handle this, and that ability should be used. If there is unfamiliarity with how to do this in the MLS Financial records, please let Bro. SFC (Stake Financial Clerk) or myself know so we can show you how this is done.

Bishops, for the purpose of donations, any envelope received by hand on or before the 31st, and envelopes that are postmarked by Dec 31st of 2013 qualify as being a 2013 donation and should be separated from the other (2014) donations so the bishopric and clerks can record the 2013 donations separately from the 2014 donations. Ideally, this will be on January 5th, but if any are forgotten, remedy it as soon as you can.

The date on the check is insufficient for reckoning the donations: the postmark on the envelope (if mailed) should be on or before Dec. 31st, and if hand-received/delivered, it should be on or before Dec 31st. I mention this because once the donations are separated from their envelopes, it is hard to tell when they were received, so it is best to separate the donations before opening the envelopes. This will require two batch submittals, but it is the correct thing to do, and, yes, is more effort, but the effort is appropriate for the task.

Bishopric and clerks: On Sunday, January 5th, process the last of the 2013 deposits as follows: set the date of the batch to December 31, 2013, and then proceed to record items as your normally do. Place the deposits and documents in the bank deposit bag and seal it normally with the items in the appropriate pouches. After completing these 2013 items and closing the donation batch, transmit the batch (Send/Receive). Then proceed to process the 2014 donations normally, with the date of transaction set to the current date in 2014 (January 5th is the first Sunday, or the current date in 2014). This is the only time you should deviate from using the current date as the date of the transaction.

If you have any corrections or suggestion for these procedures, please let me know, and if you need help processing them, I or Bro. SFC will be happy to help you on that day, or beforehand to go over what to do. If there are any difficulties in following these procedures, please let me know. If you can't comply, please let me know, also. If your unit's bishopric members or clerk or financial clerk are not on this distribution (i.e., Xth Ward financial clerk, Yth Ward bishopric counselors), please ensure that they have a copy of it.


I'm sharing this, because I'm sure that others have pondered this topic and "how do I do that?" and this is intended as a solution that has been tried and used for several years in some of our units with no problems with our auditors.

I'm assuming, as a given, that readers of the instructions are sufficiently trained and observant in proper handling of donations.

Corrections and suggestions are welcome. I do know they don't like leaders handing out legal, financial, or tax counsel, but this isn't any of those (unless I missed a class in language parsing), but is a procedural item that doesn't seem to be addressed in the instructions for clerks or MLS (unless I've missed something). If the Church has specifically chosen to refrain from giving instructions on this year-end stuff because of any reason, that would be welcome information.

russellhltn
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Re: Year-end Tithing and Donations recording

Postby russellhltn » Sat Dec 28, 2013 1:19 pm

While not required, I personally would keep the envelopes that were postmarked for both batches on that first Sunday. There may be questions later about the post mark. (Perhaps a member that insisted that they mailed it on Dec 31st.) It's better to have the proof.
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russellhltn
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Re: Year-end Tithing and Donations recording

Postby russellhltn » Sat Dec 28, 2013 1:21 pm

cheerioboy wrote:I looked for this topic in the clerk and record-keeping area, but couldn't find it, so I don't know if this topic has been covered elsewhere earlier, so I apologize in advance if my searches missed an already-covered topic and this new topic is not really "new".


You can find information on RKTS under Prior Year Donations.
Have you searched the Wiki?

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

cheerioboy
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Re: Year-end Tithing and Donations recording

Postby cheerioboy » Sat Dec 28, 2013 2:03 pm


cheerioboy
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Re: Year-end Tithing and Donations recording

Postby cheerioboy » Sat Dec 28, 2013 2:05 pm

russellhltn wrote:While not required, I personally would keep the envelopes that were postmarked for both batches on that first Sunday. There may be questions later about the post mark. (Perhaps a member that insisted that they mailed it on Dec 31st.) It's better to have the proof.


Good idea!

simonmudge
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Re: Year-end Tithing and Donations recording

Postby simonmudge » Sun Feb 15, 2015 11:35 am

A member came to me and said that his last donation for the year was postmarked 29 December 2014. I have no reason not to believe him. His donation was done on 4 January 2015. Can it be changed back to 2014? Is so, how is that done?

russellhltn
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Re: Year-end Tithing and Donations recording

Postby russellhltn » Sun Feb 15, 2015 11:49 am

simonmudge wrote:A member came to me and said that his last donation for the year was postmarked 29 December 2014. I have no reason not to believe him. His donation was done on 4 January 2015. Can it be changed back to 2014? Is so, how is that done?


First, I would double-check any documentation you still have as well as the Bishop's memory.

But to move a donation between batches, in part because it will change the batch total, I think you'll to call Local Unit Support. I'm sure someone will speak up if I'm wrong.
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lajackson
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Re: Year-end Tithing and Donations recording

Postby lajackson » Sun Feb 15, 2015 12:52 pm

simonmudge wrote:A member came to me and said that his last donation for the year was postmarked 29 December 2014. I have no reason not to believe him. His donation was done on 4 January 2015. Can it be changed back to 2014? Is so, how is that done?

Once you verify that the donation belongs in 2014, you should prepare a batch dated December 31, 2014 and record the donation again.

I am pretty certain you then will have to call Local Unit Support to have the donation removed from the January 4, 2015 batch.

Ideally, you would have the postmarked envelope, but I suspect it is gone. If possible, it would be good for the bishop to note that the donation was received in the mail in 2014 or on January 2nd (if it was), which will support a mailing postmark of 2014.


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