Who Gets Tax Statements For 2010?

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ckmcdonald
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Who Gets Tax Statements For 2010?

Postby ckmcdonald » Thu Jan 06, 2011 6:10 pm

First off, I understand I need to get Tax Statements to the donors who are present members of the ward.

Concerning donors who are not members of the ward at the end of the year (2010)...

It seems like I read in the instructions that came with CUBS that Tax Statements are now mailed by CHQ to members that have move during the year - meaning that as a Finance Clerk I no longer need to mail partial-year statements to members who moved from our ward during 2010. I'm I remembering/understanding correctly?

It is my understanding that, beyond the members of the ward, I only need to mail Tax Statements to 2010 donors who never lived in the ward during 2010, correct?

Also, is it true that we are not required to provide Tax Statements to anyone (in the ward or out) with a total donation amount less than $200?

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Postby aebrown » Thu Jan 06, 2011 6:52 pm

ckmcdonald wrote:First off, I understand I need to get Tax Statements to the donors who are present members of the ward.


For the most part this is true. See the next question.

ckmcdonald wrote:Concerning donors who are not members of the ward at the end of the year (2010)...

It seems like I read in the instructions that came with CUBS that Tax Statements are now mailed by CHQ to members that have move during the year - meaning that as a Finance Clerk I no longer need to mail partial-year statements to members who moved from our ward during 2010. I'm I remembering/understanding correctly?


That is close to what was said in the Frequently Asked Questions of the CUBS MLS Message (see Donors). The complete statement is: "They will receive a statement from Church headquarters if they donated to more than one unit. This statement will be mailed directly to the member and include all donations made during the appropriate time. (This will include donations made at the member's current ward and all other donations he has made associated with his member number.)"

So this says that if they are a member of your ward and donated to another unit they lived in earlier in 2010, you don't have to send a statement. But I'd really make sure this was the case before I would assume that I don't have to send a statement.

ckmcdonald wrote:It is my understanding that, beyond the members of the ward, I only need to mail Tax Statements to 2010 donors who never lived in the ward during 2010, correct?


Donors who never lived in the ward (e.g., grandparents of a missionary providing part of a missionary's support) will not receive a Tax Statement from any other source, so yes, you need to send out those statements.

ckmcdonald wrote:Also, is it true that we are not required to provide Tax Statements to anyone (in the ward or out) with a total donation amount less than $200?


I don't know where you heard that. That has never been stated in anything I've seen. On the contrary, we are specifically told to give tax statements to all the donors. That sounds like it comes from someone making some interpretation of IRS rules (which we should not be doing).
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Postby russellhltn » Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:03 pm

I'd also add that nothing in the instruction would prohibit us from giving a statement if asked for one. This is just determining who we should initiate the sending.
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Postby lajackson » Thu Jan 06, 2011 8:09 pm

aebrown wrote:Donors who never lived in the ward (e.g., grandparents of a missionary providing part of a missionary's support) will not receive a Tax Statement from any other source, so yes, you need to send out those statements.


At first, I wondered about this because they will have contributed to more than one unit. But after further pondering, I realize that their home unit will have their records, and the distant unit to which they are contributing (missionary, for example) will have them as an out of unit donor, without any membership information, and there will be no way to tie the records together.

So yes, we need to send statements to our out of unit (missionary) supporters.

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Postby crislapi » Thu Jan 06, 2011 10:06 pm

ckmcdonald wrote:Also, is it true that we are not required to provide Tax Statements to anyone (in the ward or out) with a total donation amount less than $200?

The wording in the audit form is

For the year-end audit only: has the ward followed all instructions from Church headquareters concerning tithing settlement?
If any of the following apply, mark "No."
Tithing settlement was not held.
Tithing settlement statements were not given to the Church members.
A copy of the tithing declaration report was not given to the stake president.
Tax-valid donation statements were not given to the Church members after the end of the year.
The Tithing Declaration Report was not sent to church headquarters using the MLS software.

There is no mention of an exception, so I would also say no.

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Postby ckmcdonald » Fri Jan 07, 2011 6:35 pm

aebrown wrote:That is close to what was said in the Frequently Asked Questions of the CUBS MLS Message (see Donors). The complete statement is: "They will receive a statement from Church headquarters if they donated to more than one unit. This statement will be mailed directly to the member and include all donations made during the appropriate time. (This will include donations made at the member's current ward and all other donations he has made associated with his member number.)"

So this says that if they are a member of your ward and donated to another unit they lived in earlier in 2010, you don't have to send a statement. But I'd really make sure this was the case before I would assume that I don't have to send a statement.

I don't know where you heard that. That has never been stated in anything I've seen. On the contrary, we are specifically told to give tax statements to all the donors. That sounds like it comes from someone making some interpretation of IRS rules (which we should not be doing).


You mention the case where the member starts the year out in another ward and ends up in our ward. This case isn't of much interest to me because getting a Tax Statement to a current member of my ward is relatively easy - making it not worth fussing about if they get a duplicate statement. I'm more interested in the opposite case, where the member moves out of our ward. It can be troublesome to hunt these people down. I was in hopes that I didn't have to - thinking the CUBS FAQ stated that CHQ would get them their statement. HOWEVER, after reading the FAQ a little closer it makes it sound like CHQ will only send them a statement if they donate in their new ward also. How can I know if they donated in the new ward - it sounds like if they don't CHQ won't send them a statement? It would seem that I have to get them a Tax Statement regardless, making me wonder what the point is of CHQ sending them one.

As for the $200 threshold I mentioned - it could easy be entirely hearsay. However, I heard it from a tax attorney and it is supposedly, as you suggested, an IRS thing, not a Church policy. That aside, it seems that a little common sense and reasoning could be applied here. Our ward, like many others I suspect, has 20-30 children who donated less than a dollar. There are also many more youth than this who paid under $50. Is it really realistic to be getting Tax Statements to 60-80 youth who will not be filing? Just curious what other wards do. For the past 7 years I've applied a little common sense and only distributed statements to those who in any likelihood would be filing a return.

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Postby aebrown » Fri Jan 07, 2011 7:33 pm

ckmcdonald wrote:You mention the case where the member starts the year out in another ward and ends up in our ward. This case isn't of much interest to me because getting a Tax Statement to a current member of my ward is relatively easy - making it not worth fussing about if they get a duplicate statement. I'm more interested in the opposite case, where the member moves out of our ward. It can be troublesome to hunt these people down. I was in hopes that I didn't have to - thinking the CUBS FAQ stated that CHQ would get them their statement. HOWEVER, after reading the FAQ a little closer it makes it sound like CHQ will only send them a statement if they donate in their new ward also. How can I know if they donated in the new ward - it sounds like if they don't CHQ won't send them a statement? It would seem that I have to get them a Tax Statement regardless, making me wonder what the point is of CHQ sending them one.


I agree that it is difficult to be certain, so it is safest to distribute the statements to all the donors. Although the CUBS message did come from an official source, it's not particularly clear to me that a somewhat ambiguous statement overrides the very clear written policy that has been in place for so many years. Perhaps after we get through this year's reporting we will have some evidence that we were overly cautious, but I don't have tremendous confidence that I understand exactly what I can rely on CHQ to do in terms of tax statement distribution.

ckmcdonald wrote:As for the $200 threshold I mentioned - it could easy be entirely hearsay. However, I heard it from a tax attorney and it is supposedly, as you suggested, an IRS thing, not a Church policy. That aside, it seems that a little common sense and reasoning could be applied here. Our ward, like many others I suspect, has 20-30 children who donated less than a dollar. There are also many more youth than this who paid under $50. Is it really realistic to be getting Tax Statements to 60-80 youth who will not be filing? Just curious what other wards do. For the past 7 years I've applied a little common sense and only distributed statements to those who in any likelihood would be filing a return.


You may call it common sense, but it sounds to me like you are making a lot of assumptions. Unless you know the entire financial circumstances of each person involved, you can't be certain of how they will be filing, or whether they will be filing. The policy is simple and clear: in the MLS Software Manual, we read "Each donor should also be given a year-end tax-valid statement after the year ends." I think you are treading on thin ice to assume you can do otherwise.

Besides, it's pretty easy to print the statements by household and deliver one envelope per household. You're not saving yourself much time.
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Postby ckmcdonald » Fri Jan 07, 2011 8:19 pm

aebrown wrote:Besides, it's pretty easy to print the statements by household and deliver one envelope per household. You're not saving yourself much time.


We do have a number of donating children with non-paying parents - which does add a little to the overheard of distribution. However, the biggest reason I don't like printing the 80-or-so statements for children is I don't want to spend the time printing them, waste the paper and then worst of all, burdening our insanely busy Bishop with signing them all.

I'm not sure I'd classify not printing statements for children as treading on thin ice but thanks a lot for the feedback - I'm just trying to decide if my method of not distributing them is acceptable. In the 7 years I haven't printed them, no one has ever ask me for one.

I'd be interested in hearing what other Fin Clerks do (have done). I'd be a little more nervous if I found out I'm the only Clerk not distributing Tax Statements for children! ;)

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Postby ckmcdonald » Fri Jan 07, 2011 8:50 pm

Found the following in the "Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations"
(here http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p1828.pdf pg 24)


Substantiation Rules:
A donor cannot claim a tax deduction for any single
contribution of $250 or more unless the donor obtains
a contemporaneous, written acknowledgment of the
contribution from the recipient church or religious organization.
A church or religious organization that
does not acknowledge a contribution incurs no penalty;
but without a written acknowledgment, the donor
cannot claim a tax deduction. Although it is a donor’s
responsibility to obtain a written acknowledgment, a
church or religious organization can assist the donor by
providing a timely, written statement containing
the following information:

■ name of the church or religious organization,
■ date of the contribution,
■ amount of any cash contribution, and
■ description (but not the value) of non-cash contributions.
In addition, the timely, written statement must contain
one of the following:
■ statement that no goods or services were provided
by the church or religious organization in return for the
contribution,
■ statement that goods or services that a church or religious
organization provided in return for the contribution
consisted entirely of intangible religious benefits, or
■ description and good faith estimate of the value of
goods or services other than intangible religious benefits
that the church or religious organization provided in
return for the contribution.

The church or religious organization may either provide
separate acknowledgments for each single contribution
of $250 or more or one acknowledgment to substantiate
several single contributions of $250 or more. Separate
contributions are not aggregated for purposes of measuring
the $250 threshold.

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Postby lajackson » Fri Jan 07, 2011 8:55 pm

ckmcdonald wrote:I'd be interested in hearing what other Fin Clerks do (have done). I'd be a little more nervous if I found out I'm the only Clerk not distributing Tax Statements for children! ;)


We print them all. We hand out as many as we can. We keep the rest in the filing cabinet in case we receive a request from someone who has moved from the ward. We get several of those a year.

We do not feel it our responsibility to track down a member who has moved from the ward. We do keep the statement on file in case they request it. (EDIT: This is not the correct thing to do. According to the online training, "If the donor has moved from the ward, the clerk should try to obtain the new address and mail the receipt.")

If we know someone has moved to a neighboring ward in the stake, we send the form to that clerk for distribution. This year, we also divided two wards into three. We have asked the two ward bishops to print out all of the forms and send them to the appropriate ward for distribution.


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