Feature Request: Electronic Donor Tax Statements "Go Paperless" setting

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tleish
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Feature Request: Electronic Donor Tax Statements "Go Paperless" setting

Postby tleish » Mon Dec 07, 2015 9:56 am

With employers and W-2 forms, it is a common practice for employees to only get an electronic copy of their tax documents. In order for an employer do this, they must have an electronic record when a user elects to only receive their donations (authenticated user with date/time of signature). So, online HR software typically allows users to configure a "setting" in their profile where they can choose one of 2 options for their W-2:

(x) Go Paperless! I consent to receive my Form W-2 electronically.
or
( ) I want to receive a paper copy of my Form W-2.

All users are defaulted to the second option until they login and choose the first. Our HR dept campaigns employees every year to login and check the 1st option.

With the new lds.org/donations website and the ability for members to generate their own Donor Tax Statements, I think it would a good idea to allow members to "Go Green" or "Go Paperless". All that would need to be added is

* a "Go Paperless" option for members in the Donation > Settings
* Behind the scenes record as to when this was enabled
* A report for ward clerks to determine which members enabled this so they can skip their report

Optionally:
* email notification when new tax statement is ready to be generated
* integration into MLS when the tax statements are generated

I have no doubt the current online donations is already saving lots of trees. Just think of all the paper, ink, envelopes and stamps would be saved on an annual basis by adding this feature.

tleish
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Re: Feature Request: Electronic Donor Tax Statements "Go Paperless" setting

Postby tleish » Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:08 am

If it helps, currently our HR software displays the following after changing donation delivery method.

Setting = Paper Copy (default)

Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statement Consent

Information
* Per your election, you will receive a paper copy of U.S. Form W-2.
* If you do not consent to receive your Forms W-2 electronically, you will receive a paper Form W-2. Consent applies to all Forms W-2 and W-2C issued after consent is given and will remain until consent is withdrawn by changing your election. To obtain a paper copy you may change your election at any time; however changes will not take effect for forms already issued. You can withdraw consent to online delivery at any time by changing your selection.
* The provision of an employee's Form W-2 by electronic format may or may not cease upon cessation of individual's employment. Contact your employer for details.

U.S. W-2
( ) Go Paperless! I consent to receive my Form W-2 electronically.
(x) I want to receive a paper copy of my Form W-2.


Setting = Go Paperless

Form W-2 Wage and Tax Statement Consent

Information
* Per your election, your employer is providing you with an electronic copy of your U.S. Form W-2 which you can print and file with your Federal, state or local tax returns.
* Consent applies to all Forms W-2 and W-2C issued after consent is given and will remain until consent is withdrawn by changing the election below. To obtain a paper copy you may change your election at any time; however changes will not take effect for forms already issued. You can withdraw consent to online delivery at any time by changing the selection below and clicking the Save button.
* The provision of an employee's Form W-2 by electronic format may or may not cease upon cessation of individual's employment. Contact your employer for details.

U.S. W-2
(x) Go Paperless! I consent to receive my Form W-2 electronically.
( ) I want to receive a paper copy of my Form W-2.

eblood66
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Re: Feature Request: Electronic Donor Tax Statements "Go Paperless" setting

Postby eblood66 » Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:17 am

I think they may already be thinking along these lines but it may not be optional. When they sent out the YTD donation statements for those who contributed to more than one ward, they did not include statements for those who had donated online (at least that's how it looked in my ward). I kind of doubt they will make changes in MLS at this point but when the finance features are moved to LCR I wouldn't be surprised if they make it so that you can print statements just for those who did not make a online donation during the year.

I'm no lawyer but I don't think the church is under the same obligation to provide a printed copy of the tax statement that employer's are for the W-2 so they may not need to have an official declaration to 'go paperless'. As long as the statement is available to the donor in some form it probably satisfies the church's responsibility.

lajackson
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Re: Feature Request: Electronic Donor Tax Statements "Go Paperless" setting

Postby lajackson » Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:38 am

If you would like to go paperless, just ask your ward clerk not to print your annual tax statement or give it to you. Of course, you would be on your own then if you were to be audited by the IRS, because to deduct a contribution, you have to have the statement from the Church before you file your return. I am not sure how electronic statements figure into the IRS rules.

russellhltn
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Re: Feature Request: Electronic Donor Tax Statements "Go Paperless" setting

Postby russellhltn » Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:42 am

lajackson wrote:Of course, you would be on your own then if you were to be audited by the IRS, because to deduct a contribution, you have to have the statement from the Church before you file your return. I am not sure how electronic statements figure into the IRS rules.

If you print them from on-line, you get a tax statement complete with a signature. I'm not sure as the date printed is an issue.
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lajackson
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Re: Feature Request: Electronic Donor Tax Statements "Go Paperless" setting

Postby lajackson » Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:51 am

russellhltn wrote:
lajackson wrote:Of course, you would be on your own then if you were to be audited by the IRS, because to deduct a contribution, you have to have the statement from the Church before you file your return. I am not sure how electronic statements figure into the IRS rules.

If you print them from on-line, you get a tax statement complete with a signature. I'm not sure as the date printed is an issue.

Date received is the issue for the IRS. If I print it out before I file my return, I'm fine. If I wait to print it out until I am audited, I do not know how IRS handles that for electronic data. But I have successfully taken us off topic now, though it is something to consider if you decide to ask your clerk to help you "go paperless".

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sbradshaw
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Re: Feature Request: Electronic Donor Tax Statements "Go Paperless" setting

Postby sbradshaw » Mon Dec 07, 2015 10:42 pm

russellhltn wrote:If you print them from on-line, you get a tax statement complete with a signature. I'm not sure as the date printed is an issue.

Complete with a signature is right – that's kind of cool! :)
Samuel Bradshaw • Interested in church apps and sites, creative recordkeeping, clerk support, YSA wards and stakes, LDS music, Vineyard at BYU, and online service.

tleish
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Re: Feature Request: Electronic Donor Tax Statements "Go Paperless" setting

Postby tleish » Tue Dec 08, 2015 9:08 am

@eblood66,

From IRS publication: Charitable Contributions - Substantiation and Disclosure Requirements https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p1771.pdf

● a donor must have a bank record or written communication from a charity for any monetary contribution before the donor can claim a charitable contribution on his/her federal income tax return
● a donor is responsible for obtaining a written acknowledgment from a charity for any single contribution of $250 or more before the donor can claim a charitable contribution on his/her federal income tax return

...

Recipient organizations typically send written acknowledgments to donors no later than January 31 of the year following the donation.


While it doesn't appear the IRS requires a non-profit to send End of Year Tax Statements, it's generally considered polite and best practice.

@lajackson,

You are correct, I can personally go and tell my clerk that I want to go paperless. The bigger purpose of this post to encourage this to become a general practice for others and save a few trees.


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