Transfer from Ward Missionary to Tithing

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Transfer from Ward Missionary to Tithing

Postby bear2940 » Sun Dec 20, 2015 3:49 pm

If a missionary returns home early and has a surplus in his Ward Missionary account, can the surplus be transferred to a parent's tithing?

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Re: Transfer from Ward Missionary to Tithing

Postby jdlessley » Sun Dec 20, 2015 5:55 pm

While not exactly a transfer, the donation(s) to the named missionary category can be re-categorized. This would essentially be the same as making a transfer from the named missionary category to the tithing category.
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Re: Transfer from Ward Missionary to Tithing

Postby davesudweeks » Sun Dec 20, 2015 8:21 pm

As an alternate option (in my experience), parents are normally OK with transferring the surplus missionary funds to another missionary in the ward or to the general ward missionary account. In the USA, it makes no difference to the member from a tax perspective. Our bishop makes that call and he or one of his counselors discuss the available options with the family who has the surplus.

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Re: Transfer from Ward Missionary to Tithing

Postby Gary_Miller » Tue Dec 29, 2015 8:46 pm

The rule is money can't be returned to the donor, such as a check being written out to the donor from the missionary account. However, donations can be corrected or changed even within a closed donation batch which is the only way the problem can be fixed.

The ward clerk should just go in and correct/change the donation batch and change the donation form Missionary to Tithing.
The donation slip should also be fixed to show the correction. Depending on the amount on the donation slips the clerk may have to correct/change several slips to get to the right amount.

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Re: Transfer from Ward Missionary to Tithing

Postby Smart68 » Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:46 am

What happens if the ward missionary account for said person has been on the plus side if the missionary has been home for over a year?

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Re: Transfer from Ward Missionary to Tithing

Postby lajackson » Tue Jan 19, 2016 12:00 pm

Smart68 wrote:What happens if the ward missionary account for said person has been on the plus side if the missionary has been home for over a year?

Often, the bishop will ask the clerk to credit it toward another missionary who is serving from the ward. If the member paid more than expected and is asking about it, the bishop and the member may determine that the donation might be recategorized (usually as tithing) or the member may decide just to leave it in the ward missionary fund, where the bishop has discretion to use is toward any missionary serving from the ward.

As an additional benefit, once the subaccount has been at zero for about two months, it will disappear. That could have happened over a year ago, of course, but it is never too late.

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Re: Transfer from Ward Missionary to Tithing

Postby benjamincarleski » Fri Apr 15, 2016 4:18 pm

I had a bishop in our stake express concern about re-categorizing the donations to allow them to go to tithing or another fund and asked if I, as the stake finance clerk, would call unit support. I did, and their answer was that this had previously been allowed, but the current policy is that the only option for excess funds are to return them to the Ward Missionary account. From there they can be used the same as any other money in the ward missionary account, such as for another missionary in the ward or remitted to the stake, who could either transfer them to a needy ward, or return them to church headquarters. They said the ability to re-categorize donations is still in MLS because of the need to correct mistakes, so the ability to do this is still present, but the policy no longer allows it. The financial training page for missionary finances now contains this updated policy (see

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Re: Transfer from Ward Missionary to Tithing

Postby gregwanderson » Wed Apr 27, 2016 10:08 am

The policy you referenced doesn't (by my understanding) explicitly forbid the "change it to tithing" technique which some of us have used up to this point. So I'm not sure very many clerks will "get the memo" on this without more specific communication.

But this takes me back to my own, tired soapbox speech. Clerks should continually monitor the income and expenses of the Ward Missionary Account and its sub-categories. In the end, if the donor is unhappy about the way funds were handled and about the way they paid "too much" or "too little" into the Ward Missionary Fund then you're the one they're going to talk to first. Avoid the hassle by checking the accounts often and informing the donors of the account status. In the end, your biggest problem should only be that there was one month's worth of surplus or deficit (and it should only be because someone's release date was closer to one month shorter or one month longer than expected). All donors should know that paying large sums in advance is not appropriate nor wise. Any donor who is unaware that someone else is supplementing their monthly donations should be made aware of the situation (without disclosing any other details about who is making the donations). Let's all avoid this problem. It's easy to avoid!

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